Center for the Public Understanding of Religion

California Local Religions Conference

On September 21 and 22, 2012, CSU, Chico’s Religious Studies Department held a conference focusing on the study of local California religions. We were especially interested in how to incorporate students into the study of local communities, both to increase student engagement in religion and to involve the university in public dialogue about religion.

The conference brought together scholars from CSU Chico, CSU Fresno, CSU San Bernadino,  San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Clara University, and the University of Southern California to explore new tools for mapping religious practice in California and to discuss pedagogical strategies for helping students interact with local religious communities in ways that could increase their learning and engagement while simultaneously increasing public understanding of religion among community members and leaders.