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About This Issue
Even in a country founded on the principles of religious freedom, open dialogue about religious differences is the source of deep-seated anxiety in college and university classrooms. As faculty, staff, and administrators prepare students to live in a world where religious beliefs profoundly influence global relations, they must enter the deep and uncertain waters of spirituality and religious inquiry. College students need—and often request—guidance about these topics that are inextricable from their personal identity explorations and their preparation for public roles.
This issue of Diversity & Democracy begins to examine the place of religion and spirituality in the American classroom. Our contributors embrace the difficult questions, asking not only whether spirituality belongs in the academic setting, but also how to best educate students for conversation across religious divides. Knowing that belief affects learning across disciplines, from physics to history to political science, our authors provide practical advice to educators wishing to understand this aspect of American diversity and prepare students for citizenship in a religiously pluralistic world.