Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times has recently penned a very interesting piece on Eboo Patel of the Interfaith Youth Core in the US. Disillusioned with the superficial nature of the Interfaith movement and its failure to engage with the ‘grassroots’, Patel was driven to try something new and meaningful, hence the term ‘Interfaith activism’. As Goodstein wrote of Patel and his vision:
Interfaith activism could be a cause on college campuses, he argued, as much “a norm” as the environmental or women’s rights movements, as ambitious as Teach for America. The crucial ingredient was to gather students of different religions together not just to talk, he said, but to work together to feed the hungry, tutor children or build housing.
What an excellent idea! Too often Interfaith ventures are stale and timid, focusing primarily on faith leaders rather than engaging and enthusing a wider constituency.
You can read the article in full here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/us/14patel.html?emc=eta1