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Religious Studies team receives Interfaith Studies Award

The Interfaith Youth Core awarded $5,000 this spring to professors Jeffrey C. Pugh, Geoffrey D. Claussen and Amy L. Allocco to help in the development of an interfaith studies course sequence that might also serve as the precursor to a future minor in interfaith studies.

From left: Jeffrey C. Pugh, Amy L. Allocco and Geoffrey D. Claussen

Three faculty members in the Department of Religious Studies received a $5,000 award this month from an organization whose mission is to advance interfaith programming and understanding on college campuses around the world.

Professors Jeffrey C. Pugh, Geoffrey D. Claussen and Amy L. Allocco will use the award to explore possibilities for a new academic program at Elon focused on interfaith studies. The program would complement numerous initiatives already taking place through the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, Elon’s Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society, and other campus constituencies.

The three professors developed the grant proposal after attending an Interfaith Youth Core workshop, “Toward a Field of Interfaith Studies: Course Sequences, Pedagogies, and Best Practices,” at the Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership at New York University in January 2014.

The award helps the team cover costs from site visits to religious and faith-based organizations across North Carolina, as well as seminar development expenses, books and related materials. A key component of the new minor would be for students to directly engage with members of diverse religious communities. 

Founded in 2002 by interfaith educator Eboo Patel, the IFYC is a Chicago-based organization building a movement on college campuses through various programs and events. The award is designed to recognize a recipient’s commitment to advancing the field of interfaith studies.

Patel has made previous visits to Elon and is scheduled to deliver the university’s 2014 Baccalaureate sermon in Alumni Memorial Gymnasium.

Eric Townsend,
5/22/2014 3:40 PM