Michael McNally, John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies
Shana Sippy, Research Associate in Religion Carleton College and Assistant Professor of Religion at Centre College
Professor of Religion Michael McNally and Research Associate Shana Sippy have collaborated with students, staff, and community partners to create multimedia profiles of diverse religious communities in Minnesota. The website and profiles housed at “Religious Diversity in Minnesota Initiative” provide an important public resource on a variety of religious traditions. Some communities featured on the website even utilize these profiles to educate the public about their traditions. The project was awarded a grant with Twin Cities Public Television, in collaboration with the MN Humanities Center; together, they produced short videos related to the website content, publicizing the work further.
For the next stage of the project, Professor McNally, with continuing support from Professor Sippy, collaborated with students to finalize the editing of more materials for publication. Professor McNally stressed that the preparation and launch of more profiles is not only about creating a public resource, but also honoring the commitments they have made to their community partners, who have shared their time and knowledge with the project team. The project has benefited from the hard work of many students over the years. During summer 2020, student researchers researched, wrote, and revised entries for the website. In addition, Professors Sippy and McNally consulted with their community partners to determine what steps would be most valuable for those partners. Ultimately, the team plans to convene a series of discussions with different publics about the challenges and possibilities of religious diversity. In these discussions, the public website will serve as a resource for understanding religious traditions and directing conversations around religious diversity.