The Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement is rooted in the Society of Jesus General Congregation (GC) 34 Decree 12 regarding a commitment to ecumenical wisdom, interreligious dialogue, and religious literacy. The Center began in the Office of the Provost at Seattle University on July 1, 2021.
The Center is outward-facing and committed to providing opportunities that impact both classrooms (undergraduate and graduate) and communities. The Center hosts critical conversations, creates educational opportunities for local community organizations and groups, and endeavors alongside national and international partners. In this inaugural year we are talking with our partners about future opportunities that will assist individuals in ways that shape and support their careers, vocational trajectories and communities.
Religious illiteracy is a challenge today. Where an individual or political party invokes the name of God, it is important to understand the role of religion in framing public opinion. In addition, religious majority and minority populations influence national and international conflict and its resolution. Studies reveal that relationships – both domestic and international – are improved by greater awareness about one’s own religious or spiritual pathways, and those of others.
In addition to its ecumenical roots, Jesuit universities are tasked with “ongoing ecumenical formation” (GC 31, Decree 26), awareness and literacy of religious traditions, spiritual pathways, and indigenous wisdom.
The Center highlights spiritual and religious insight and wisdom, inviting people to enact the change they wish to see in the world. We do this through ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, scholarly projects, engaging with the needs and issues alive for our target audience, and by providing resources for community and classroom use.