Scholars of religion can in theory help provide important textual, cultural, and historical context for pressing current issues like healthcare legislation, climate change, and immigration reform. But most of us lack the training to do that sort of public-facing work. Doctoral programs prioritize formal communication that emphasizes scholarly expertise over accessible writing. Tenured and tenured-track scholars are not rewarded or recognized for public scholarship. Senior mentors often lack experience in non-academic publishing.
Sacred Writes is a four year project generously funded by the LUCE foundation that will serve a small but crucial role in advancing accurate, research-based public discourse on religion and theology. The project combines week-long training institutes for scholars on how to produce public scholarship with innovative short-term media collaborations. Over the course of four years, Sacred Whites will train 30 scholars in topics such as: pitching an op-ed, building a scholarly/professional brand, using social media to promote and amplify scholarship. Scholars will then have the opportunity to participate in a shot-term collaboration with a media outlet. For the scholar, this partnership is an opportunity to apply newly acquired skills in an actual media environment. And for the media host, the program provides a highly trained short-term employee to help expand the outlet’s coverage of religion.
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Visiting Lecturer of Religion, Program Director of Sacred Writes
Megan Goodwin is a scholar of gender, race, sexuality, politics, and American religions. She is the author of Abusing Religion: Literary Persecution, Sex Scandals, and American Minority Religions (Rutgers 2020). With Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, she coh…