Posts by Jenn Lindsay

Taken by the author at the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia.

Choice and Safety: Required Ingredients for Interfaith Progress

Classic “contact theory” predicts that diverse societies automatically bring about tolerance. I argued against this idea here when I discussed how proximity generally exacerbates the anxiety of difference, and fails to disconfirm negative stereotypes when people see—but do not understand—their differences. If your goal is increasing tolerance and civic cooperation, it is not enough just […]

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Photo taken by the author at the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions.

What Is the Unity of “Unity in Diversity”?

Notwithstanding the prizing of diversity, there IS some unified bottom line to interfaith dialogue. Nonviolent behavior is the basis for “unity in diversity.” Behavior is a category about which all parties participating in a dialogue must actually be on the same page. A behavioral covenant of nonviolence is necessary to contain and maintain an interfaith engagement, […]

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taken by the author on December 5th, 2009 at the Parliament for the Word's Religions in Melbourne, Austalia.

Romantic Distance vs. Vexing Proximity: the difficulty of real up-close interfaith encounters

My research on interreligious dialogue and engagement has reinforced an old cliché: absence makes the heart grow fonder. When two people are distant from each other, it is easy to idealize each other. It is easy to recall them enshrouded in mists and to dream of an incandescent, ecstatic reunion. It is easy to gleefully […]

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By Barbaricino (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Libro_di_Mormon.JPG

On Irreconcilable Differences: My Interreligious Dialogue with Mormon Missionaries

Since I’m conducting field research on interfaith dialogue in Rome, I thought it would be an important part of my participant-observation to embark upon a dialogue. I met some Mormon sisters conducting missions in Italy, and we gathered on three different occasions to trade our stories, religious commitments, and to talk about our faith. I grew […]

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Photo taken by the author Jenn Lindsay near Piazza di Popolo in Rome.

Pluralismo Vivo: The Interfaith Roads of Rome

It’s not easy to find clear examples of “interreligious violence” in Rome. The closest thing Rome suffers to religious violence are distant shrieks from ISIS across the Mediterranean Sea about “bringing Rome to her knees.” Overt religious conflict requires a more closely balanced religious demographic—and with Italy’s current Catholic-affiliating demographic topping out at 85% (not […]

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By Sri Chinmoy.org (http://www.srichinmoy.org/interfaith) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Can Interfaith Dialogue Really Do? Part 3 of 3

Read Part I here, and Part II here. When I ate lunch with the rabbi he inveighed against interfaith dialogue and its inability to reach or transform the minds of those who are closed to dialogue. He said, “Interfaith activists say one thing and they do another—they preach transformation and tolerance, but they are already […]

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By Sri Chinmoy.org (http://www.srichinmoy.org/interfaith) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Can Interfaith Dialogue Really Do? Part 2 of 3

Read Part I here. At lunch after Purim, I heard the rabbi criticize interfaith projects for being “just another religious group.” I reflected on the irony of a religious clergy person dismissing the bonding function of the interfaith society. If indeed the interfaith society becomes a “religion” of its own, this is no reason to […]

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By Sri Chinmoy.org (http://www.srichinmoy.org/interfaith) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Can Interfaith Dialogue Really Do? Part 1 of 3

After the most recent Purim morning service at my synagogue, I ate lunch with the rabbi. He told me he thinks interreligious dialogue is an in-group hobby, that interfaith groups become cliques. He felt these groups “preach to the choir,” and that people interested in dialogue are already liberal, educated, and concerned about religion. Interfaith, […]

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AZero-tolerance.jpg

By unidentified [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How Do We Tolerate the Intolerant?

What do tolerant people do with the intolerant? We tolerate them. We ignore them. We insult them. We try to change them:        By explaining.        By demonstrating.        By oppressing. We rationalize their existence: People disinterested in interfaith dialogue are ignorant, uncultured, or disengaged. ISIS is not really Islamic […]

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Image from Wikimedia Commons. "Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 33" by David Shankbone - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33.JPG

The Kaleidoscope of Activism (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1) Below is a catalogue of activist methodologies, defined and listed according to aims, vulnerabilities, recommendations, and real-world examples. This categorization may help you to develop some ideas about how to advance your movement, and to locate your efforts within the many types of activism. JOURNALISTIC ACTIVISM Methodologies: Write and report arguments and […]

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Jenn Lindsay

Jenn Lindsay is a PhD Candidate at Boston University's Graduate Division of Religious Studies, where she studies how religious difference affects personal relationships--in families, friendships, interfaith dialogue groups. She is presently conducting ethnographic dissertation research at Confronti Magazine in Rome, analyzing the nature and networks of interfaith dialogue in Italy. Jenn uses her research and her documentary films on religious communities to encourage reflection about religion “outside the box”--beyond institutions and policies and within real lives and relationships. She earned her Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Interfaith Relations at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she served as co-chair of the Interfaith Caucus and as the senate Minister of Fun. She hails from San Diego, California and worked for a decade in New York City as an independent musician and filmmaker.


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