Union News

Jerusha Tanner Rhodes, Ph.D Awarded Grant to Advance Racial Equity and Interfaith Cooperation

Categories: In the News, Press Releases

A woman wearing a patterned headscarf smiles softly and holds the scarf near her chin. She is dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and a black shoulder strap is visible. The background is plain, enhancing the focus on her expression and attire. The image is in black and white.

Jerusha Tanner Rhodes, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Islam and Interreligious Engagement and Director of the Islam, Social Justice, & Interreligious Engagement (ISJIE) Program at Union Theological Seminary, has been awarded the Racial Equity and Interfaith Cooperation Curricular Award from Interfaith America (formally Interfaith Youth Core). Rhodes will use the $1,000 grant funds to develop a new course titled, “Multireligious, Interreligious Ghana.” 

The Interfaith America Racial Equity and Interfaith Cooperation Curricular Award is designed to support university faculty in creating or revising courses that explore the intersections of interfaith efforts and racial justice. The award supports this critical work at universities across the United States. Interfaith America, formerly known as Interfaith Youth Core, is described on its website as the “nation’s premier interfaith organization.” 

Rhodes’ research focuses on interreligious engagement and religious pluralism, comparative theology, and Muslima theology. Her new grant-supported course, “Multireligious, Interreligious Ghana” will offer an exploration of the religious landscape of Ghana, where Indigenous traditional practices, Islam, Christianity, and other traditions all interact. 

“By focusing on interfaith/interreligious engagement in Ghana, this course will center Black experiences, Black histories, and Black approaches to religious diversity,” says Jerusha Tanner Rhodes, Ph.D in her award-winning grant proposal. “This will expand the boundaries of the field of interfaith/interreligious studies, which often centers white and Christian perspectives.” 

Dr. Jerusha Rhodes earned a Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies with a focus on Religious Pluralism at Georgetown University in 2011. She is the author of Never Wholly Other: A Muslima Theology of Religious Pluralism (Oxford University Press, March 2014) and Divine Words, Female Voices: Muslima Explorations in Comparative Feminist Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018).