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Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies campus building.

Fostering understanding, cooperation and friendship

Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies

About the Jay Phillips Center

The Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at the University of St. Thomas promotes critical, normative and civic approaches to interreligious encounter.

The center is dedicated to a scholar-practitioner approach to cultivating interfaith leadership that promotes basic (inter)religious literacy through lived encounter with people, communities and ideas, and provides opportunities to wrestle constructively with our growing religious diversity. The center recognizes that communities can be healthier when differences are engaged in a sophisticated manner by informed citizens, rather than ignored.

The center partners with the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John's University. It shares the common mission to foster understanding, cooperation and friendship among people of diverse religious, spiritual, and secular identities, worldviews and lifeways through academic study and civic engagement.

Programs and Resources

  • Engagement
  • Seminars and Lecture Series
  • Lived Religion in St. Thomas Classrooms
  • Dialogue
  • Research Resources
  • Engagement

    The Jay Phillips Center engages campus and community in many ways.

    Public Events

    We serve the campus community and the public by hosting events that promote the public understanding of religion and interreligious relations.

    Conferences and Symposia

    We host conferences and symposia organized around timely questions, relevant events, and innovative ideas in the area of interreligious studies, interfaith leadership and civic pluralism.

    Bridge Building

    The Jay Phillips Center promotes interfaith community relations by bringing together people of different religious, spiritual, and secular identities to learn from, and serve alongside, each other.

    Seminars and Lecture Series

    Our seminars and lecture series invite scholars, leaders, practitioners, and community members with various religious, spiritual, and secular identities together for conversation around important topics and issues. Past seminars and lectures have focused on topics such as Muslim identities in Minnesota and North America, Hindu-Christian encounters in India, and interfaith leadership in business education.

    Lived Religion in St. Thomas Classrooms

    This program, formerly known as Rabbis-in-Residence, funds speakers from the many religious, spiritual and secular traditions of Minneapolis-St. Paul and Minnesota to serve as guest speakers in St. Thomas classrooms. It provides faculty an opportunity to supplement their curriculum with voices from the local traditions as they are lived. Although the speakers are readily equipped to teach about religion as defined by religious organizations, experts, and texts, they also bring unique perspectives on how religion is lived out in people's everyday lives, especially in our local communities.

    For a list of available speakers and topics, faculty should contact Hans Gustafson at hansgustafson@stthomas.edu.

    *A guiding criterion for this program requires that the speakers' classroom visits and presentations facilitate significant interreligious learning and encounter.

    Dialogue

    The center sponsors conversations, often focused on books, films or current events, among groups of students, faculty, and people from the wider community. While fostering friendship, these conversations also promote understanding of the complicated religious identities of those represented in the group.

    Research Resources

    The Jay Phillips Center offers a variety of resources that support research and scholarship in the field of interreligious studies, including the Jan Phillips Database.

    Research Resources

    Engagement

    The Jay Phillips Center engages campus and community in many ways.

    Public Events

    We serve the campus community and the public by hosting events that promote the public understanding of religion and interreligious relations.

    Conferences and Symposia

    We host conferences and symposia organized around timely questions, relevant events, and innovative ideas in the area of interreligious studies, interfaith leadership and civic pluralism.

    Bridge Building

    The Jay Phillips Center promotes interfaith community relations by bringing together people of different religious, spiritual, and secular identities to learn from, and serve alongside, each other.

    Research Resources

    Seminars and Lecture Series

    Our seminars and lecture series invite scholars, leaders, practitioners, and community members with various religious, spiritual, and secular identities together for conversation around important topics and issues. Past seminars and lectures have focused on topics such as Muslim identities in Minnesota and North America, Hindu-Christian encounters in India, and interfaith leadership in business education.

    Research Resources

    Lived Religion in St. Thomas Classrooms

    This program, formerly known as Rabbis-in-Residence, funds speakers from the many religious, spiritual and secular traditions of Minneapolis-St. Paul and Minnesota to serve as guest speakers in St. Thomas classrooms. It provides faculty an opportunity to supplement their curriculum with voices from the local traditions as they are lived. Although the speakers are readily equipped to teach about religion as defined by religious organizations, experts, and texts, they also bring unique perspectives on how religion is lived out in people's everyday lives, especially in our local communities.

    For a list of available speakers and topics, faculty should contact Hans Gustafson at hansgustafson@stthomas.edu.

    *A guiding criterion for this program requires that the speakers' classroom visits and presentations facilitate significant interreligious learning and encounter.

    Research Resources

    Dialogue

    The center sponsors conversations, often focused on books, films or current events, among groups of students, faculty, and people from the wider community. While fostering friendship, these conversations also promote understanding of the complicated religious identities of those represented in the group.

    Research Resources

    Research Resources

    The Jay Phillips Center offers a variety of resources that support research and scholarship in the field of interreligious studies, including the Jan Phillips Database.

    Research Resources

    Upcoming Events

    A poster promoting an event reading Shia Islam and Politics: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon.

    Shia Islam and Politics: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon

    Tuesday, September 22, 2020 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

    The recently published book Shia Islam and Politics: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon by Jon Armajani will be the subject of this event. The book argues that since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, which established a Shia Islamic government in Iran, that country’s religious and political leaders have used Shia Islam as a crucial way of expanding Iran’s objectives in the Middle East and beyond.

    More details on "Shia Islam and Politics: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon"

    Affiliations

    The Jay Phillips Center is affiliated with a few external organizations that help foster cooperation and understanding among people of all religious, spiritual and secular identities.

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    Our Staff

    Headshot of Dr. Hans Gustafson

    Dr. Hans Gustafson

    Director

    Dr. Gustafson is the Director of the Jay Phillips Center and teaches courses in (inter)religious studies and theology.

    Dr. Hans Gustafson
    Headshot of Lois E. Dament

    Lois E. Dament

    Administrative Assistant

    Lois is an administrative assistant and has worked in a variety of academic and administrative departments at St. Thomas since 1984.

    Contact Information

    Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about the Jay Phillips Center.

    Tel: (651) 962-5780

    Email: jpc@stthomas.edu  

    Mailing Address

    Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies
    University of St. Thomas
    2115 Summit Ave. MAIL 57P
    St. Paul, MN 55105

    Campus Location

    Our address is 2057 Portland Avenue