Karla Johnson has co-authored a new article with Peter Laurence, entitled “Multi-Faith Religious Spaces on College and University Campuses,” which is featured in the latest issue of the journal Religion & Education (Volume 39, Issue 1).
As American colleges, universities, and independent schools face the challenge of accommodating students’ wide variety of religious needs, the multi-faith center has emerged as a visible symbol of an institution’s commitment to embrace diversity. The authors address this current trend by first describing the historic relationship between religion and higher education, discovering a pattern that leads from Christian sectarianism through the sudden emergence of non-sectarianism, and into the realities of today’s multi-faith culture. Following that, the space needs of a multi-faith center are identified, providing guidelines for planning. Finally, three categories of existing multi-faith centers are explored, including renovated religious spaces, renovated non-religious spaces, and new construction.