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Inter-religious leadership has to be cultivated, fostered, and supported. Please help support CIRCLE educate a new generation of inter-religious leaders across the country.

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Founded in 2008 with a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, CIRCLE is a joint initiative of Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC). CIRCLE’s mission is to help prepare religious and ethical leaders for service in a religiously diverse society. The work of CIRCLE is rooted in the cultivation of authentic relationships across lines of difference. It is our conviction that through study, dialogue, and joint action, we can help to heal and transform the world. CIRCLE engages seminary and graduate students, academics, and communal leaders locally and nationally through our in-person and online initiatives.

History

In 2001, Hebrew College (HC) moved from Brookline, Massachusetts to a new hilltop campus in Newton it would share with Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS). Two years later, Hebrew College, which began in 1921 as a secular cultural institution, created a rabbinical school. For the last ten years, the staff and students of the newest Jewish seminary and the oldest Protestant seminary in the country—Andover Newton’s roots go back to the founding of Andover Seminary in 1807—have formed a partnership that has changed the way both schools think about their educational goals and the nature of their communities. Newton’s “Institution Hill,” named for the other ancestor of Andover Newton, the Newton Baptist Institute, has become “Faith Hill.”

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State of Formation

Latest Articles

  • On Spirituality and the Krishna Pranami faith

    Managing Director's Note: all Contributing Scholars begin writing by answering the following question as their first post: Why are you committed to building relationships with those from different religious or ethical traditions? Their answer to this question is below. I grew up in a Hindu Family. However, religion to me was merely a set of […]

  • A Visit Christian Family Bookstore by Nathan Hershberger

    “Full Armor of God.  $19.99” This small figurine caught my eye just as I entered the “Family Christian Bookstore.”  Happily, it confirmed everything I wanted it to confirm about American evangelicalism.  The breastplate, helmet, and short-sword imitated Roman style, an idiosyncrasy I assumed had been missed by its sellers.  Armor, I thought, is exactly what […]

  • On the intersection of race and religion

    As a white person who is passionate about dismantling racism, I seek to notice the power and privileges that my pale skin affords me, as well as the many blind spots and biases it brings. My master’s thesis focused on interrogating the ways that my religion has functioned to create and sustain systems of racial inequity. White Christianity, as I have come to label it, has been a destructive force of oppression, sanctifying white ignorance/innocence while justifying enslavement, genocide, invasion and theft of indigenous resources and lands.

Inter-Religious Dialogue

Current Journal

  • Issue 12

    in this issue, we explore issues of ethics and bioethics, particularly as they are played out and reflected in our religious and faith traditions and practices. These are often the questions that keep us awake at night, or around a dinner table, or at our own desks, studying, and pondering. What does a particular tradition’s text have to teach us about abortion, for example? What are our religious or ethical responsibilities to animals, or to the elderly, or to the dying? As an inter-religious publication, we are also interested, of course, in comparing what different traditions might say about the same topic. We welcome additional discourse—in letters to our editors, in our comments, and in future submissions—from you as you continue to compare, consider, and challenge understandings about ethics.

  • “Clothed With Glory: Sacred Underwear and the Consecrated Life,” by Alonzo Gaskill

    There are three ritual acts that pre-modern religions traditionally have in common: eating, washing and clothing. Ancient peoples engaged in rites of communion, wherein covenants with God and/or man were made and renewed through the partaking of food. Similarly, among most of the ancients, ceremonial washing was a requisite rite of passage with salvific connotations. [...]

  • “Religious Diversity Within the Limits of Radical Neo-Enlightenment,” by Mark Manolopoulos

    This paper begins by briefly sketching a ‘return to universality’ with what the author calls a ‘radical neo-Enlightenment’ that is driven by a revolutionary rationality. As part of this delineation, the essay discusses how this rationality is itself delimited, and how the apparently ‘unlimited’ figure of divinity is itself also delimited. The work then sketches [...]