Pluralism Project launches distance learning updates


Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photo

3 min read

As students and educators struggle with emergency online instruction, and many reluctantly prepare for distance learning in the fall, quality online educational resources have never been more critical. The Pluralism Project’s newly redesigned website,, responds to this urgent need.

“The Pluralism Project has long had a wide online presence. But now, with the impact of COVID-19 and the closure of campuses across the U.S., our wholly renovated and easy-to-use website comes at just the right time for the online teaching and learning that is now a necessity,” said Diana L. Eck, the Pluralism Project’s founder and director. “Students in courses on the world’s religions, ethics, immigration, and American religious history will find resources, essays, films and sound files. This is a curricular goldmine.”

With this launch, is updated, streamlined, and more accessible. Notable improvements include a redesigned landing page, featuring a video introduction by Eck and updates to some of the most popular content, including new summaries for essays on 17 religions and their encounters with one another in the American context.

New educational content also includes:

  • Access to Pluralism Project case studies, resources on the case method, and other case materials
  • Expanded, extensive news & media, with a regularly-updated selection of news articles and social media and a curated section of films on religious diversity in the U.S.
  • A slideshow on America’s religious landmarks and resources about the changing religious landscape of the U.S., including other mapping projects
  • A growing interfaith infrastructure section, featuring profiles of interfaith organizations and a directory of interfaith centers in the U.S.

A new Harvard University server hosts the site, facilitating ongoing increases in site usage without compromising performance and an extensive archive site, provides access to older materials that are no longer updated but retain research value.

Celene Ibrahim, author and teacher at Groton School said, “My students find the site easy to navigate and engaging to explore. We are using the Religious Diversity News feature to keep abreast of how different religious communities are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. I plan to use the Pluralism Project website as my primary textbook next year, whether in the classroom or teaching online.” 

The redesign of this Webby award-winning website was made possible by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. This grant enabled Pluralism Project staff to work closely with Harvard Web Publishing on the redesign and redevelopment of the site.

The soft launch of the website in March, just one week after Harvard University’s campuses closed for COVID-19, was expedited to ensure that increasing demand would not crash the site. Just a few weeks later, is now among the top-15 most frequently visited Harvard sites on the OpenScholar platform with more than 88,000 views even before our formal launch. Ongoing updates and new elements — including webinars and other resources to facilitate distance teaching using the Pluralism Project website — will be added to the site this spring and summer.