Imagining Justice in Baltimore

Throughout America’s history, religious leaders and religious communities have confronted the greatest challenges facing our nation by drawing on the wisdom of religious traditions. The city of Baltimore is the focal point for a national conversation around questions of justice, race and community. At this pivotal moment in our city’s history, indeed our nation’s history, the ICJS highlights the continued importance of bringing diverse religious perspectives to address civic and social challenges. In the yearlong initiative Imagining Justice in Baltimore, the ICJS will contribute Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives to the public conversation about justice and healing in Baltimore.

We see a city that is fragmented and polarized. During communal crisis, action is required on the part of individuals, institutions and government. Yet action alone is not enough to create meaningful change. In partnership with leading thinkers and institutions, the ICJS scholars have developed Imagining Justice in Baltimore, a yearlong series of innovative programs that bring together people from across the city, and across religious divides, to read, reflect and speak about justice. This series will explore how interreligious conversations and coalitions can serve as a force of good in Baltimore City leading to communal dialogue, cooperation and action.

Sustained and successful change is fueled by great ideas. Great ideas are the result of reading, reflection and conversation with individuals who both share, and who challenge, deeply held ideas and beliefs. The ICJS recognizes that the influence of religion and ethics is not confined to religious institutions or even to particular communities. Religious and ethical texts and traditions inform every aspect of civic discourse. Religious communities can play a constructive and powerful role in creating a trusting network of people who know how to address complex and divisive issues. The long-term goal of our initiative Imagining Justice in Baltimore, is that the city of Baltimore will serve as a model of how interreligious learning can influence vital conversations and shape public life. This experience will lead to action and forging a community of tolerance. 

Huffington Post Blog: Imagining Justice in Baltimore

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The city of Baltimore is part of a national conversation around questions of justice, race and community. At this pivotal moment in our city’s history, indeed our nation’s history, the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies highlights the continued importance of bringing diverse religious perspectives to address civic and social challenges. In the following Huffington Post Blog posts associated with the Imagining Justice in Baltimore initiative, the ICJS will contribute the perspectives of local Jews, Christians, and Muslims to the public conversation about justice and injustice in Baltimore through the HuffPost blogsite.

Each contributor represents her or his own opinion. We welcome this diversity of perspective and are not seeking a single definition of justice between traditions, nor denying the multivocal nature of justice within traditions. The long-term goal of the Imagining Justice in Baltimore initiative is to create a model of interreligious learning and dialogue around differences that demonstrates how a robust commitment to religious pluralism can shape public life.