Religious pluralism, global peace, and higher education

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Colleges and universities are major resources that could promote religious pluralism because they can teach religious literacy, a prerequisite for religious pluralism. To do so, colleges and universities ought to consider: developing more courses on religion and spirituality, integrating religious studies throughout the curriculum, creating formal and informal opportunities for inter-religious dialogue on campus and in their local communities, and increasing campus participation in community service.

Most importantly, higher education needs to get beyond its own discomfort zone regarding religion. Faith-based institutions need to be more open to teaching courses in religion other than their own. Whether or not one has a religion is not important. What is important is to recognize that the majority of people in the world do practice a religion -- and that their beliefs can be a force for good as well as evil. Also, very intelligent and well educated people are members of the world's religions: Religion is not simply the Marxian "opium of the masses."

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