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STATE OF FORMATION Weekly
We are pleased to announce that State of Formation will be hosting a workshop at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) this November. As many of you know, AAR recently approved the Interreligious and Interfaith Studies group, which is a significant step forward for interreligious studies as a discipline. In the coming weeks, we will announce specific opportunities to present at the workshop for our  Contributing Scholars to be involved. Here is a run down of events for State of Formation Contributing Scholars at the AAR:

State of Formation Workshop - Sunday, November 24th from 2-5pm

If you are committed to interreligious understanding and interested in making your voice heard in conversations playing out in a virtual public square with over 150,000 annual readers, join us for this interactive workshop. State of Formation (SoF) is an online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. Engage in conversation with founders of SoF, current featured bloggers and a panel of professionals who are providing quality content about religion in the online environment. This workshop is open to current and aspiring contributors to  State of Formation. For additional information regarding this workshop contact Dr. Jennifer Peace jpeace@ants.edu. The Workshop will be held on Sunday, November 24th from 2-5pm (Please confirm final time and location by checking the AAR program book).

Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group Reception - Saturday, November 23rd from 7-8:30pm

A reception in honor of the Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group, hosted by the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies (ICJS), co-sponsored by The Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE) at Andover Newton and Hebrew College as well as The Pluralism Project at Harvard University."

Other Intrereligious and Interfaith presentations and panels:

Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group and Transformative Scholarship and Pedagogy Group
Theme: Transforming Campus Culture Through Interreligious Learning and Action
Diana L. Eck, Harvard University, Presiding
Saturday - 4:00 PM-6:30 PM

Join us for a creative conversation about how models of interreligious learning and action (both  within and outside the classroom) can transform campus culture and how campus culture in turn   impacts interreligious education/pedagogy. Drawing on innovative models of interfaith pedagogy   and curriculum development at seminaries, colleges and universities, this session is an invitation   to bring your own insights and questions from your own context to the table.

Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group
Theme: Religious Self / Religious Other
John Makransky, Boston College, Presiding
Sunday - 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

The papers in this panel raise questions about how we imagine the religious other in relationship to the religious self, proposing theological orientations as well as practical models for engagement. At the same time, the papers challenge reductionist approaches to conceptualizing difference.

Study of Islam Section, Study of Judaism Section, Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group,
and Scriptural Reasoning Group
Theme: Election and Supersessionism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Rachel Mikva, Chicago Theological Seminary, Presiding
Monday - 9:00 AM-11:00 AM

Peoples in the ancient Near East had special relationships with their tribal gods; in essence, each  was “chosen.” Initially formed by this model, Israelite religion had to grapple with the profound   implications of monotheism on such a relationship. What does it mean for the God of all worlds   to choose a nation? As Christianity and Islam emerge, Judaism’s assertion of election becomes   increasingly contested and competing religious claims play out in governance, art, scriptural   exegesis and other literature with significant historical consequences. Beginning in the modern   age, moral objections are raised in regard to the principles of election and supersession, and some   voices within the traditions seek out ways to reform or reject the ideas. A first step in wrestling   with the issue is to review more carefully the scriptural record and the history of its interpretation.   Even before the Hebrew Bible, New Testament or Qur’an was canonized, each was multiply   interpreted. For centuries, understanding of these texts has been fluctuating, polysemous, contested.

We are pleased to share that our Annual Contributing Scholars is now open! Nominations and applications for emerging ethical and religious scholars are now being accepted. Those interested in applying or nominating a scholar can do so here.


Since 2010, emerging religious and ethical leaders from around the country and the world have engaged each other and readers by sharing their stories and views on State of Formation. Conversations once dominated by established leaders are now readily embraced by the up-and-comers, and accessible to contributors from many different moral, faith, political, economic, and social backgrounds. State of Formation garners over 150,000 views per year and has over 200 active Contributing Scholars.

Nominees and applicants either should be recent graduates or currently enrolled at a seminary, rabbinical school, graduate program, or another institution for theological or philosophical formation. On rare occasions, exceptions will be made to these guidelines in order to increase the diversity of the writers. Contributors should commit to post monthly articles on the forum and comment on other articles while showing respect to others from different traditions.

If you are interested in applying or nominating someone to be a Contributing Scholar, please take a moment to fill out our brief nomination form. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis. 

Call for Nominations

Please nominate a colleague, student, or friend to become a State of Formation Contributing Scholar!
State of Formation is a forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. Founded by the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, State of Formation is a project of the Center for Inter-Religious & Communal Leadership Education at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College. It also works in collaboration with the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.