“3Dialogue in Action: Toward a Critical Pedagogy for Interfaith Education,” by Nazia Islam, Tiffany Steinwert, and Diane Swords

Now more than ever interfaith education is a pressing imperative for higher education. As religious tensions rise in the United States and around the world, the need for critical and constructive pedagogies of interfaith education grows. Not only must students increase their own religious literacy to function in an increasingly religiously plural world, but they must also learn effective ways to communicate and collaborate across differences of faith and non-faith  (Jacobsen and Jacobsen, 2012; Patel, 2012; Patel and Meyer, 2011). In a recent study of religion in higher education, Jacobsen and Jacobsen, assert, “paying attention to religion has the potential to enhance student learning and to improve higher education as a whole” (Jacobsen and Jacobsen, 2012, p. vii).

While colleges and universities have long instituted academic courses on world religions and have offered co-curricular experiences for interfaith dialogue, few institutions have developed academic opportunities that fuse religious literacy, interfaith dialogue and multi-faith action. This paper intends to explore the possibilities for such a course through a critical analysis of the Intergroup Dialogue model as a pedagogical tool for interfaith education among undergraduate students.

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