About the RPUC
Religion is a highly influential aspect of human identity and a key aspect of diversity and identity on campuses in Minnesota, in the nation, and globally. On the University of Minnesota campus, in particular, religious diversity has been included in the Office of Equity and Diversity statement, “What we mean by diversity,” and it is attracting increasing attention.
Students, faculty, and staff come from a wide variety of religious (and non-religious) backgrounds and engage in a wide variety of religious practices on campus. Yet the existence of this particular form of diversity is frequently ignored. In October 2019, the Minnesota Daily published an article on the need for campus-wide conversations about religious diversity. The Religion and the Public University Collaborative (RPUC) was designed as a vehicle for deploying the tools of academic research and knowledge production to address questions and issues that arise at the intersections of religious freedom, academic freedom, and church-state separation on this and other public university campuses.
The collaborative grew out of the Religion in Public Life initiative launched by the Religious Studies Program in 2015 and came together in 2019 with funding by the Institute for Advanced Study. Members of this interdisciplinary collaborative include faculty, graduate students, and staff members from several departments and colleges across the University of Minnesota, faculty from several regional institutions, and Twin Cities community members.