The Pluralism Project
In the past fifty years, immigration and pluralisation have dramatically changed the religious landscape of the United States. Today the encounter between people of different religious traditions takes place in cities and neighbourhoods all over the country. The Pluralism Project at Harvard University began a pioneering study of the changing religious landscape in the U.S. in 1991. Through its network of affiliates, the project documents the contours of the multi-religious U.S.-society, studies new forms of interfaith engagement, and explores the impact of religious diversity in civic life. Its innovative research focus and methods have inspired many other research projects on the changing religious landscape worldwide.
Resources on religious diversity in the U.S.
Since the need for religious literature has grown greater than ever before, the Pluralism Project publishes different resources on religious diversity and pluralism in the U.S.:
- On Common Ground introduces the world’s religions and exploring religious diversity in the U.S. In 1997, the first edition of On Common Ground: World Religions in America, was released by Columbia University Press. Subsequent editions of the CD-ROM were released in 2002 and 2008. In 2013, On Common Ground became available online (www.pluralism.org/ocg), making the findings and insights of the Pluralism Project available to teachers, students, researchers, and religious leaders. The resource includes three main sections - Religion, Landscape, and Encounter - populated with essays, maps, and multimedia.
- The Case Study Initiative (www.pluralism.org/casestudy) investigates the practical challenges of religious pluralism and provides tools for engaging in critical thinking on its difficult issues. The Pluralism Project's focus on the civic life is exemplified by this initiative.
- World Religions in Greater Boston: In 1991, Professor Diana Eck first offered a course at Harvard University on “World Religions in New England.” Twenty-five students joined her and together they set out to explore the increasingly diverse religious communities in the Boston area. The result of this research was the publishing as a printed guidebook that would serve as a model for future research. In 2009, an updated and online version of this guide was published (www.pluralism.org/wrgb).
- Religion Diversity Newsfeed (www.pluralism.org/newsfeed) presents multi‐religious news, domestic and international, with searchable archive. In 1997, the Pluralism Project began tracking news stories related to religion in multi-religious America. In 2003, Religious Diversity News expanded its coverage to multi-religious societies around the world. Religion Diversity News became Religion Diversity Newsfeed in 2011.