Director Dr. Barbara A. McGraw

“Pluralism arises from the values of liberty, equal dignity, conscience, and participation embodied in (even if not fully achieved by) the founding documents of the United States, and  is at the heart of 'America's Sacred Ground.'" -- Barbara A. McGraw


Barbara A. McGraw, J.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Social Ethics, Law, and Public Life
School of Liberal Arts and School of Economics and Business Administration

[email protected]



An author, speaker, and media commentator on American identity and the role of religious pluralism in public life, Dr. Barbara A. McGraw has been active in both the American Political Science Association's and the American Academy of Religion's "Religion and Politics" sections, having served on the Executive Council of APSA's section and as co-chair of AAR's section.  Recently, she served on AAR's standing Committee for the Public Understanding of Religion 2011-2015.  Dr. McGraw is editor of the prestigious Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Politics in the U.S., forthcoming June 2016.  She is lead co-editor (with Jo Renee Formicola) of and contributor to Taking Religious Pluralism Seriously: Spiritual Politics on America's Sacred Ground, which is based on Dr. McGraw's earlier book entitled Rediscovering America’s Sacred Ground: Public Religion and Pursuit of the Good in a Pluralistic America.  She is also co-author (with Robert S. Ellwood) of Many Peoples, Many Faiths: Women and Men in the World Religions, one of the most used world religions texts in the U.S., the 10th edition for which was published in 2014.  Dr. McGraw served as president of the American Academy of Religion Western Region 2001-2002.  She holds a Juris Doctor Degree and a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics, both from the University of Southern California.  Recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism, Dr. McGraw also is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, an Affiliate of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, and an activist for prison inmates' religious rights and for fair representation of the world's religions in California K-12 textbooks.

Find out more about Dr. McGraw's recent work and watch videos here.