February 2016

I am on leave from teaching this term and working on the book that will emerge from the Gifford Lectures I gave in Edinburgh in 2009. It is to be called The Age of Pluralism and will deal, as did the lectures, with our national, community, and individual responses to the challenges of religious diversity in our societies. 

In the meantime, Dorothy and I are still House Masters at Lowell House, although our precise title is likely to change in the near future. Stay tuned! We are deep into the process of working with architects on the renewal of Lowell House --a full scale renewal of the entire building, making it accessible and supportive of community, now, in the twenty-first century. Even though the construction is more than a year away, the plans and bids need to be ready this spring. It is an exciting, but exhausting process. 

We had a wonderful month in India in January. Again, we took a trip on the Bengal Ganga with about twenty Harvard alumni  --up the Hooghly River from Kolkata, past the Farakkha Barrage, and into the main channel of the Ganga as far as Munger. The ten days on the river were wonderful and peaceful. Then we had a few days in Bodh Gaya and Varanasi. At the end of the trip, Dorothy and I went to Mumbai where I delivered the Vasant Sheth Lecture on the rivers of India and the huge challenges that India has maintaining the great waterways that are the lifelines of Indian culture. 

Last week, the Andover Harvard Library opened an exhibit on all three floors on The Pluralism Project -- a retrospective of 25 years of research and work on America's changing religious landscape. It will be up until the fall, when we have scheduled a conference to look at the state of our religious pluralism --past, present, and future. Again, stay tuned!