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Aspen Institute
Interfaith Leadership & Religious Literacy
Date Approved

Religious literacy is a necessary component of a thriving religious pluralism, as well as the democracy and society that such pluralism supports. A lack of basic religious literacy hampers secular funders who partner with faith-based organizations, contributes to the alarming rise in hate crimes, and fosters serious misunderstanding about American democracy and its religious freedoms. In addressing religious pluralism more broadly, IAP has found that religious literacy is an essential component in furthering the field. Religious literacy already has many good efforts, but these are scattershot and disconnected. The Aspen Institute believes two further components are needed: (1) an infrastructure to connect and scale existing efforts; (2) an intentional effort to bring practitioners together with one another, funders, and academics. The project will allow IAP to research what is needed to coordinate a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector effort to advance the field of religious literacy. IAP will fund a Fellow and Research Assistant to produce reports and design convenings to establish the state of the problem, map existing resources in the field, and develop a systems-level plan to sustain efforts long-term.