To renovate and rebuild a house, sometimes you need to tear down damaged parts that could threaten the integrity and stability of the home. But good builders know that you can’t just tear out the old. You have to rebuild with strong materials to create a healthy place to live.
To build a mutireligious, multiracial society requires this same two-part process. That’s why ICJS aims to dismantle religious bias and bigotry while we also seek to build an interreligious society characterized by dialogue over division, friendship over fear, and education over ignorance.
This report highlights how we address both dismantling and building at ICJS through our educational programming and intensive cohorts. The topics, formats, and attendees vary, yet we hear recurring themes in evaluations. Here are three:
First, interreligious dialogue allows people to understand their own religious life, as well as their own religious traditions, more deeply.
Second, interreligious learning sheds light on common challenges, helping the whole community move forward in collaboration.
Third, ICJS attendees value their experience.
With this annual report, we stop, savor, and share what we have built this past year with you. Yet we know that the work of building must continue because we are striving for no less than an interreligious society that offers all deep respect and full belonging.
Heather Miller Rubens, Ph.D., Executive Director and Roman Catholic Scholar
Irfan Malik, President, Board of Trustees