Fall 2014 Call for Contributors

State of Formation is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for Contributing Scholars.

State of Formation is supported by a partnership between the Journal of Inter-Religious Studies (JIRS), Hebrew College, and Andover Newton Theological School.

Over the past three years, State of Formation has welcomed new and emerging religious and ethical leaders to engage in dialogue via an online format. While unorthodox in its approach, the forum has created a place for emerging scholars to articulate their voices in the public sphere.

2011 Contributing Scholar, Simran Jeet Singh, says, “I had never felt comfortable writing publicly, and State of Formation was the first forum in which I began testing the waters. It was such a great opportunity to practice and hone my skills — little did I know that it would serve as a launch pad for me to write for national outlets like The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Newsweek’s The Daily Beast.”

Over the years, over 300 individuals have applied or been nominated to write on State of Formation, which currently has over 200 active writers. One of the forum’s newest 2013 Scholars, Elise Alexander, explains, State of Formation has give me the opportunity to be a part of a supportive community of emerging leaders while exploring and formulating my own ethical and religious ideas.” Esther Boyd, who also joined in 2013, shares a similar sentiment, “State of Formation has taught me to discover and then appreciate and cultivate the sometimes surprising moments in my own life and work with potential value to interfaith conversation and spiritual identity.”

One of the unique aspects of the State of Formation experience is the opportunity given to Contributing Scholars to craft their own personal narrative in their writing about their tradition and belief system. To that end, Lauren Tuchman, a 2011 Scholar, says that the forum has given her “a platform from which I have been able to write about religious and theological issues of great personal import while simultaneously allowing me to enter into dialogue with others engaged in this work from a variety of backgrounds.” Similarly, Chris Fici, a 2012 Scholar, says that State of Formation helped him walk with others in “understanding and respect of the principle of our diversity in faith, practice, and thought, and the unity we share in that diversity.”

Contributing Scholars to State of Formation will be able to take advantage of the numerous benefits to participating in the State of Formation Contributing Scholars Fellowship. In addition to being recognized as a Contributing Scholar by JIRS, State of Formation’s Contributing Scholars may be eligible for travel grants, invited to either present or participate in the annual gathering at the American Academy of Religion, and may have their work featured in articles on additional platforms.

Nominees should be currently enrolled in a seminary, rabbinical school, graduate program, or another institution for theological or philosophical formation — or up to three years out of their graduate program in a professional setting. On rare occasions, exceptions will be made to these guidelines in order to increase the diversity of the writers. Scholars should be able to commit to post monthly on the forum while showing respect for others from different traditions.

Does this describe you or an emerging leader you know? Please take a moment to fill out our brief nomination form. Nominations will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please contact Benjamin Barer, Managing Editor, ben@irdialogue.org, or Esther Boyd, Communications Director, esther@irdialogue.org, with any questions or concerns.

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