Harvard Pluralism Project

The Pluralism Project is a two decade-long research project that engages students in studying the new religious diversity in the United States, and trains them to become the next generation of religious and civic leaders in the United States. Pluralism has long been a generative strand of American ideology. Moreover, in the past fifty years the religious landscape of the United States has changed radically. However, mere diversity or plurality alone, however, does not constitute pluralism. This project explores particularly the communities and religious traditions of Asia and the Middle East that have become woven into the religious fabric of the United States in the past twenty-five years. Overall it aims to document and better understand the changing contours of American religious demography, to study the religious communities themselves and their forms of adaptation and religious education in the American context, and to explore the ramifications and implications of America’s new plurality through case studies of particular cities and towns, and the development of interfaith councils and networks. Moreover, it wishes to discern the emerging meanings of religious “pluralism,” both for religious communities and for public institutions, and to consider the real challenges and opportunities of a public commitment to pluralism in the light of the new religious contours of America.