While I have been blessed never to have faced direct discrimination, the visual expression of my faith through my unshorn hair kept within my turban and my long beard attract cautious and potentially critical looks wherever I go.
Brandeis' identity presents challenges: How can the school celebrate its Jewish roots and accommodate its large Jewish population while still being inclusive and welcoming to all of its students? I would be lying if I said we never experience awkwardness as we try to strike a balance.
Universities have become special and privileged settings where faith practice, learning and dialogue can take place in a context that requires mutual respect and where students of many nations can come better to appreciate the values of religious pluralism and freedom.
Should affirmative action principles and practices help to form an ideal intellectual community and achieve a critical mass in religious studies departments? Should a department of religious studies have "equal representation" in the so-called world's religions?