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Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3800)
Alan Wolfe (Project Director: March 2006 to January 2009)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$156,905 (approved)
$156,905 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2006 – 9/30/2007

Religious Diversity and the Common Good

A six-week summer seminar for fifteen college and university teachers to explore the philosophical, historical, sociological, and legal dimensions of American religious diversity.

"Religious Diversity and the Common Good" proposes to bring together college teachers in the humanities and the social sciences to discuss the challenges of maintaining political liberty in a society in which the diversity of religious worldviews makes it difficult to point to a common morality. The sminar content can be divided into four areas of inquiry: philosophical questions, such as whether there exists a common morality that is neutral between religions or between religion and non-belief; historical questions, seeking to understand the transformation of America from a society shaped by a predominant Protestant morality into a society of widespread religious diversity and moral disagreement; social science questions, such as the ways in which American culture can influence American religion; and legal questions, such as whether these transformations in religious experience have, or should, shape our understanding of the free exercise and establishment clauses of the 1st Amendment