Newsroom

Islamic society head describes changing Muslim community engagement

by Deb Christian

Ingrid Mattson

Ingrid Mattson

Photo by George Conklin

CHICAGO (RCCongress 2010), April 9 — Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary told a story of how change involves communication to participants gathered in Chicago for Religion Communication Congress 2010 (April 7-10).

The congress is the once-a-decade gathering of communications professionals from different from different faiths, different countries, and different areas of faith. More than 500 participants in this decade's event explored the theme "Embracing Change: Communicating Faith in Today's World."

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Use of new communication venues necessary to spread message of hope

by Deb Christian

CHICAGO (RCCongress 2010), April 9 — Pluralism: more than one of something; diverse; opposite of a single approach or method.

Diana Eck

Diana Eck

Photo by George Conklin

"Pluralism begins with difference. Real religious pluralism means our engagement with one another requires building sturdy relationships," said Diana Eck, developer and director of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, in a Friday keynote address to participants in Religion Communication Congress 2010.

Noting the challenges faced in the United States with its complex religious landscape, Dr. Eck noted that, "religious faith is a powerful force in people's lives and choices. We must find new ways to spread the message of hope through new communication venues in our world."

The Pluralism Project tries to bring changing views on religion into the open. "Who are 'we the people...' now," she asked. "This is a new world of encounter for many Americans."

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When news stories that were posted four hours ago are old, how in the world can you keep up?

by Melodie Davis

Martin Marty

Martin Marty

Photo by George Conklin

CHICAGO (RCCongress2010) April 8, 2010 — Octogenarian Dr. Martin Marty, professor emeritus of the University of Chicago Divinity School and renowned religion historian, moderated a Thursday morning panel addressing the changing media landscape for participants in the April 7-10 gathering of faith communicators, Religion Communication Congress 2010.

Panelists included Kevin Eckstrom, editor of Religion News Service, who teaches at Northwestern University School of Journalism; Barbara Bradley Hagerty, religion beat reporter for National Public Radio and author of Fingerprints of God; and Kenneth Irby, founder of the photojournalism program at the Poynter Institute and head of the institute’s visual journalism group.

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Faith and change go hand in hand, Mitch Albom tells faith communicators

by Ryan Miller

Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom

Photo by David Skidmore

CHICAGO (RCCongress2010), April 7 — When it comes to faith, Mitch Albom believes in the power to change.

Opening the Religion Communication Congress 2010 in Chicago, an April 7-10 gathering of communication professionals from a spectrum of religions and denominations, the sports journalist and best-selling author laced together two stories of faithful change.

The first: Albom's own eight-year process of returning to religion while preparing to preach the eulogy of his childhood rabbi. The second: the story of Henry Covington, a drug-dealer-turned-pastor ministering to the indigent, poor and homeless of Detroit.

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Nine students explore religion communication

by Douglas F. Cannon, RCC President

RCC scholarship students

Scholarship students gather after the 2009 Wilbur Awards ceremony March 28 in Cambridge, Mass.

Nine students are exploring possible careers in religion communication this year, thanks to the Religion Communicators Council.

The students began their 12-month journey during the 2009 RCC National Convention in Cambridge, Mass. The nine received scholarships from RCC to attend the March 25-28 gathering. There they met council members, program leaders and individual mentors.

Those RCC mentors are to work one-on-one with students through April 2010, offering advice, counsel and encouragement.

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