The Islam, Social Justice, and Interreligious Engagement Program (ISJIE) promotes academic and public education aimed at cultivating diverse Islamic responses to pressing social justice issues. It seeks to generate innovative and informed discourse on topics, such as climate change, racism, religious pluralism, violence, poverty and economic inequality, incarceration, and gender and sexuality.
Affirming the value of dialogical exchange and recognizing that social justice issues require cooperative reflection and action, ISJIE activities are undertaken in a deliberately interreligious fashion. ISJIE seeks to engage a broad range of religious and non-religious voices.
Academic Offerings in Islam, Social Justice and Interreligious Engagement
Students in all Union degree programs (M.A., M.Div., S.T.M., and Ph.D.) can focus their coursework on Islam, Social Justice, and Interreligious Engagement through the Interreligious Engagement field. Students are able to take courses at Union and at other neighboring institutions with which Union has existing cross-registration agreements, including the Graduate School of Columbia University (including the Middle East Institute), the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Fordham University. In addition, students can enhance their experience through thesis projects, guided reading courses, internships, and field and CPE placements at relevant sites.
ISJIE Public Lecture Series
ISJIE offers two major public events related directly to Islam, social justice, and interreligious engagement each year. These events take the form of panels with multiple participants, one-day colloquia, artistic performances, or invited lectures by prominent voices in the fields.
Dr. Mohja Kahf, “Speaking Words: Poetry, Politics, and Power” (September 28, 2016, 6:00 PM)
Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, “Muslims, #BlackLivesMatter, and Race in America” (March 30, 2017, 6:00 PM)
“Islam in the Public Square” Scholar Workshops
ISJIE organizes workshops that bring together a small, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational cohort of New York-based scholars who are interested in engaging questions of Islam, academic and public scholarship, and activism. These workshops aim to establish ongoing conversations and networks across NYC academic institutions. Participating scholars commit to one year of workshops and receive an honorarium.
- Click here to view the 2016 Scholar Cohort Members.
- Click here to view the 2017 Scholar Cohort Members.
ISJIE Graduation Award
Each May, ISJIE grants a graduation award (with monetary value) to a Union student who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to Islam, social justice, and interreligious engagement both within and outside of the classroom.
Muslim Women Leaders Program (MWLP)
The Muslim Women Leaders Program (MWLP), which will be piloted in 2016, is a 3-day program for Muslim women who serve in religious, scholarly, community, or social leadership roles. The Muslim Women Leaders Program (MWLP) aims to nurture a community of dialogue among diverse Muslim women leaders. The program seeks to provide opportunities for networking; examination of relevant aspects of Islamic thought and practice; and development of practical skills in public engagement and communication. Applications for MWLP 2017 are now closed.
ISJIE activities are planned in consultation with the members of its Advisory Council. Members of the Advisory Council are selected based upon academic expertise, experience with social justice activism, and experience in interreligious engagement. Click here to see the current members of the Advisory Council. Please note that new members are added on an ongoing basis.
ISJIE is an independent program of Union Theological Seminary, and receives funding from Union Theological Seminary, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).
The Islam, Social Justice, and Interreligious Engagement Program (ISJIE)
Union Theological Seminary
New York, NY 10027