Diversity is Not Just the Differences You Like: Religion and the Challenge of Pluralism

Heimbold Visual Arts Center Donnelley Film Theatre

Open to the public

/ Tuesday


We live in an era of marginalization, polarization, and deep disagreement on fundamental matters. Is it possible to build pluralism in these times? Can colleges and universities play a role? How ought we engage with ideas we disagree with and people we dislike? Part of our Difference in Dialogue yearlong event series, these topics will be addressed in a panel discussion moderated by Nancy Cantor ’74, Chancellor of Rutgers University Newark, and featuring:

  • Eboo Patel, founder and president, Interfaith Youth Core
  • John Inazu, Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law & Religion and Professor of Political Science, Washington University Law

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To reserve a seat:

Recommended Readings from Eboo Patel

Recommended Readings from John Inazu

About Our Panelists & Moderator

Eboo Patel is an author, speaker, educator, and interfaith leader. He founded Interfaith Youth Core on the idea that religion should be a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. He is inspired to build this bridge by his identity as an American Muslim navigating a religiously diverse social landscape.

For over 15 years he has worked with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help make interfaith cooperation a social norm. Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council and is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground, Interfaith Leadership: A Primer, and Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.

These days, Eboo spends most of his time on the road, doing what he loves: meeting students, educators, and community leaders to talk about the complex landscape of religious diversity and the power of interfaith cooperation in the 21st century.

In his off time, you’ll find Eboo in Chicago with his wife, Shehnaz, and their two sons. When he’s not teaching his kids about interfaith cooperation, there’s a good chance he’s rooting for Notre Dame and feeding a lifelong coffee addiction. Catch up with him on Twitter and Facebook, and keep exploring to learn more about Eboo and IFYC at ifyc.org.

John Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches criminal law, law and religion, and various First Amendment seminars. His scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and related questions of legal and political theory. He is the author of Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly and Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference. Inazu has written broadly for mainstream audiences in publications including USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.

Inazu holds a BSE and JD from Duke University and a PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He clerked for Judge Roger L. Wollman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and served for four years as an associate general counsel with the Department of the Air Force at the Pentagon. For more information about John and his work, visit jinazu.com.

Nancy Cantor ’74 is Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark, a diverse, urban, public research university. A distinguished leader in higher education, Cantor is recognized nationally and internationally as an advocate for leveraging diversity in all its dimensions, re-emphasizing the public mission of colleges and universities as engines of discovery, innovation, and social mobility, and achieving the fulsome potential of universities as anchor institutions that collaborate with partners from sectors to help their communities thrive.

Prior to her current position, Cantor was Chancellor and President of Syracuse University, and served as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, after having served as dean of Michigan’s Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and vice provost for academic affairs; professor of psychology and senior research scientist at the Institute for Social Research at Michigan; and chair of the department of psychology at Princeton University.

In her role as a social psychologist, Chancellor Cantor is recognized for her scholarly contributions to the understanding of how individuals perceive and think about their social worlds, pursue personal goals, and how they regulate their behavior to adapt to life's most challenging social environments. An author of numerous books, chapters, and scientific journal articles, she holds an AB from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in Psychology from Stanford University. Her academic and leadership work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York, among many others.