Centering Students at the Margins: Critical Interfaith Praxis as Hospitality

Screengrab from the webinar

From the very opening of this webinar, it is clear that each speaker embodies an ethic of interfaith hospitality that could transform space and place in higher education. Facilitator and IFYC staff member Janett Cordoves immediately invited participants from a place of abundant warmth—which she explicitly names is inspired by her Cuban heritage and Catholic upbringing. Speakers JT Snipes and Zandra Wagoner use turns of phrase that likewise capture the very notion of an interfaith praxis that broadens perspectives in higher education. JT speaks of his book Remixed and Reimagined as a “contribution of love,” and Zandra thoughtfully discusses how various critical theories can transform the campus into what she calls a “home place” if thoughtfully integrated into the lives of students. It is clear that this conversation among scholars is of a different sort than we’re accustomed to—and that’s the point.  

If this resonates, check out the video here, find the full transcript below and please take a deeper look into the following resource list, generously and thoughtfully curated by our speakers: 

From the Speakers Themselves  

Chapter 2 in Remixed and Reimagined“Critical Interfaith Praxis in Higher Education” 

Journal of College and Character. “Interfaith Engagement and Student Empowerment Among Latino/a and African American Students” 

JT Snipes’ Interfaith America article on Bodies Out of Place and his podcast Blacktivism in the Academy  

Critical Theory 

Freire, P. (1970) Education for critical consciousness. New York, Continuum Publishing Company. 

Sandoval, C. (2000). Methodology of the oppressed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 

Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples (2nd ed.). London: Zed Books. 

Critical Race Theory: 

McCoy, D. L., & Rodricks, D. J. (2015). Critical race theory in higher education: 20 years of theoretical and research innovations. ASHE Higher Education Report, 41, 1–117. 

Solarzano, D., & Yosso, T. (2001). Critical race and LatCrit Theory and Method: Counter storytelling Chicana and Chicano graduate school experiences. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 14, 471–495. 

Intersectionality 

Collins, P. H., & Bilge, S. (2016). Intersectionality. Malden, MA: Polity. 

Community Cultural Wealth 

Yosso, T. (2005) Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth, Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69-91. DOI: 10.1080/1361332052000341006 

Mestiza Consciousness 

Anzald.a, G. (1999). Borderlands: La frontera. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books. Astin, A. W., Astin, H. A., & Lindholm, J. A. (2011). Assessing students’ spiritual and religious qualities. Journal of College Student Development, 52, 39–61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/ Csd.2011.0009 

Elenes, C. A., Gonzalez, F., Delgado Bernal, D. & Villenes, S. (2001) Introduction: Chicana/ Mexicana feminist pedagogies: Consejos respeto, y educación. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 14(5), 595–602. 

Margins 

hooks, b. (1989). Choosing the margins as a radical space for openness. Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, 36, 15–23. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/44111660 

Black Feminist Thought 

Collins, P. H.. (2008).  Black feminist thought. New York, NY: Routledge. 

Critical Interfaith Studies/Praxis 

Allocco, A. L., Calussen, G. D., & Pennington, B. K. (2018). Constructing interreligious studies: Thinking critically about interfaith studies and the interfaith movement. In E. Patel, J. Howe Peace, & N. Silverman (Eds.), Interfaith-interreligious studies: Defining a new field (pp. 137–146). Boston, MA: Beacon Press. 

del Vecchio, K., & Silverman, N. J. (2018). Learning from the field: Six themes from interfaith/ interreligious studies curricula. In E. Patel, J. Howe Peace, & N. Silverman (Eds.), Interfaith-interreligious studies: Defining a new field (pp. 137–146). Boston, MA: Beacon Press. 

Eichler, H. (2011). Interfaith dialogue, structures of discrimination and call. Retrieved from http://www.stateofformation.org/2011/01/interfaith-dialogue-structures-of-discriminationand- call/ 

Hill Fletcher, J. (2018). The promising practice of antiracist approaches to interfaith studies. In E. Patel, J. Howe Peace, & N. Silverman (Eds.), Interfaith-interreligious studies: Defining a new field (pp. 137–146). Boston, MA: Beacon Press. 

Mikva, R. S. (2018). Six issues complicate interreligious studies and engagement. In E. Patel, J. Howe Peace, & N. Silverman (Eds.), Interfaith-interreligious studies: Defining a new field (pp. 137–146). Boston, MA: Beacon Press. 

Puett, T. (2005). On transforming our world: Critical pedagogy for interfaith education. Cross Currents, 55, 264–273. 

Singer, K. (2019). For interfaith engagement to succeed, White religiosity must seek solidarity with people of color. Journal of College & Character, 20(1), 77-83. 

Tichavakunda, A. A. (2020). Studying black student life on campus: Toward a theory of black placemaking in higher education. Urban Education, https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085920971354 

Goodman, M. K., Geiss, E. M., Patel, E., Love, C. & Kruger, K. (2019). Educating about religious diversity and interfaith engagement: A handbook for student affairs. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. 

If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.