Launch of the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue™: An Example of Interfaith Collaboration and Inter-Generational Leadership

May 02, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
New York, New York. Since the election of US President Barack Obama, experts have lauded the success of a new style of collaborative, bottom-up leadership.

With the launch of the website of The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue™,, and its first peer-reviewed issue on May 1, 2009, two young students are exemplifying the kind of "we leadership" seen in President Obama's administration, and being sought out by institutions hoping to solve problems and flourish in the new global economy.

Stephanie Hughes, a graduate student at Union Theological Seminary, and Joshua Stanton, a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College, founded The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue™ in June 2008. The two serve as co-Editors and have successfully shepherded the launch of the Journal and its public reception. According to Hughes, "We see ourselves as facilitators, welcoming those with questions and experience to the same table-we are confident that if we provide the forum, and remove barriers for dialogue, real interactions can take root." Stanton concurs, adding "This has been a real team effort and is a way to bring people of all backgrounds together for discourse about the issues most important to our religious communities."

Despite still being students, Stanton and Hughes were able to gather an impressive field of luminaries in the academy and practitioners who lead inter-religious dialogues in communities across the United States and beyond. This Board contains broad representation of academic disciplines, non-profit work, and activism, including Swami Tyaganada, Hindu Chaplain at Harvard University, Edward Kessler, Director of the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths and Fellow of Cambridge University, Burton Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Eboo Patel, Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, and Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, Academic Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School.

In addition to reflecting the broad array of religious practice and belief, the Staff and Board of the Journal are also multi-generational, and the perspectives and experiences of all influence decision-making and the direction of the Journal. The leadership of the Journal understands asking questions and welcoming dialogue to be more effective than giving instructions and setting goals for others.

The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue™ offers a novel way to establish long-term dialogue and collaboration between religious communities. Its content will include articles on the theological underpinnings of inter-religious work, best practices of organizations on college campuses and in the non-profit sector, and direct engagement of the difficult issues that religious leaders face in their interactions with one another. Its first peer-reviewed issue is available online via its free web platform at