The Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions (LISAR) opened
in July, 2005, testimony to the vision and benefactions of Sheldon and Marianne
Lubar of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Concerned about rising religious tensions
worldwide and believing Jews, Christians and Muslims to be capable of prolonged
and honest inquiry into both their common heritages and varying perspectives,
they imagined a center that would advance mutual comprehension by mingling
scholars with the general public, clergy with laity, and members of different
faith communities with citizens of Wisconsin, the United States, and the
world. Through encouraging people belonging to and/or interested in the
Abrahamic traditions to engage each other and to find out more about both of
these several traditions and their intersections, LISAR is dedicated to
strengthening the values of religious pluralism so vital for sustaining
American civil society and peaceful international discourse.
The Institute's mission emerges from the intimate yet often bitter connections that have existed historically among Jews, Christians, and Muslims:
These considerations ground the Institute’s mission: to
create better understanding of the Abrahamic traditions and their interrelationships
by encouraging ongoing discussion of these traditions among scholars,
members of those traditions, and the general public.
The Institute is a unit of the College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Program support comes principally from the Sheldon and Marianne Lubar Fund administered by the University of Wisconsin Foundation.