Professor of World Religions and Interreligious Relations

History-Theology-Society Division

numrich paul
cardExt. 4653
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My courses explore the variety of Christian perspectives on the world’s religions and encourage seminarians to develop their own perspectives in preparation for faithful participation in interreligious encounters and informed leadership among fellow Christians.

--Paul D. Numrich


B.A., Aurora College, 1979; M.Div., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 1984; Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1992; Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Religion, Aurora University, 1985-90; Research Associate, Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics, 1999-2002; Researcher, Religion in Urban America Program, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1994-present; Affiliate Research Associate Professor, Loyola University Chicago, 2000-present; Associate Professor, Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus, 2004-08; Associate Professor of World Religions and Interreligious Relations, 2008-2010, Professor of World Religions and Interreligious Relations, 2010-present.

Areas of Expertise

  • Multireligious America
  • Christian Perspectives on World Religions
  • Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations
  • Understanding Islam


  • American Academy of Religion
  • Association for the Sociology of Religion
  • Religious Research Association
  • Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

selected BOOKS

  • The Abrahamic Encounter: Local Initiatives, Large Implications (co-editor with Mazhar Jalil and Norman Hosansky) (Wipf and Stock, forthcoming).
  • Religion and Community in the New Urban America (co-author with Elfriede Wedam) (Oxford University Press, 2015).
  • The Faith Next Door: American Christians and Their New Religious Neighbors (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • The Boundaries of Knowledge in Buddhism, Christianity, and Science (editor) (Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2008).
  • North American Buddhists in Social Context (editor) (Brill and the Association for the Sociology of Religion, 2008).
  • Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs in America: A Short History (co-author with Gurinder Singh Mann and Raymond B. Williams) (Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement: How Religion Matters for America's Newest Immigrants (co-author with Fred Kniss) (Rutgers University Press, 2007).
  • Old Wisdom in the New World: Americanization in Two Immigrant Theravada Buddhist Temples (University of Tennessee Press, 1996).

selected articles

  • “Space-Sharing by Religious Groups,” Practical Matters Journal 9 (Spring 2016) 1-23.
  • “Christian Sensitivity in Interreligious Relations,” The Asbury Journal 67,2 (Fall 2012) 51-83.
  • “Emergence of the Rhetoric of a Unified Ummah among American Muslims: The Case of Metropolitan Chicago,” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 32,4 (December 2012) 450-466.
  • "Immigrant Parochial Schools: Religion, Morality, Citizenship," in Children and Childhood in American Religions, ed. Don S. Browning and Bonnie Miller-McLemore (Rutgers University Press, 2009).
  • "Plan B in the Pluralist-Dialogue Approach to Religious Diversity in America," Journal of Ecumenical Studies 43,4 (Fall 2008) 453-475.
  • "Immigrant American Religions and the Family: New Diversity and Conservatism," in American Religions and the Family: How Faith Traditions Cope with Modernization and Democracy, ed. Don Browning and David A. Clairmont (Columbia University Press, 2007).
  • "Complementary and Alternative Medicine in America's 'Two Buddhisms'," in Religion and Healing in America, ed. Linda L. Barnes and Susan S. Sered (Oxford University Press, 2005).