UCSB’s Religious Studies Department will host a two-day conference this Thursday and Friday focusing on religious diversity and tolerance to provide greater insight into international religious issues to the campus community.
The free event begins at 9 a.m. in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building’s McCune Conference Room and is one of several similar events held throughout the nation this summer as part of the U.S. Department of State’s “Study of the United States Institutes — Religious Pluralism and Public Presence” program. Attendees will include scholars, journalists, professors and government workers from 18 countries including Argentina, Egypt, India and Thailand.
According to Wade Clark Roof, the J.F. Rowny professor of religion and society and program’s co-academic advisor, the series has historically given foreign visitors a broader perception of American religion.
“They discovered that the situation here is very different from what the media has exposed about the U.S.,” Roof said. “They found American religious diversity fascinating — our many different religions, the degree to which they tolerate each other, and how we try to resolve conflicts among them.”