NEH: $817,800 for Islamic Projects, Far More Than Other Faiths

By Zenny Phuong | August 8, 2017 | 5:33 PM EDT

Muslims reading the Quran. 

(www.news.cn) 

(CNSNews.com) -- The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is dedicating more taxpayer dollars to projects related to Islam than those of any other religion/philosophy in its latest, and last, round of funding for FY 2017, according to an analysis by CNSNews.com of a list of grants the NEH released on Aug. 2.

Grants totaling $817,800 were awarded to four Islam-related projects, including weeks-long seminars and publications on Muslims and the Islamic culture. (In total, the NEH disbursed $39.3 million for 245 projects across the country.) 

A two-week institute (workshop) on Islamic poetry and related arts received around the same amount of funding ($188,000) as a four-week institute on how Buddhism shaped East Asia ($187,257).

Institutes on religious diversity received significantly less funding ($313,686 total) than the Islamic projects, but still more than other specific religions, such as Christianity, Buddhism or Judaism.

The Quran.  (ABCNews.com) 

Humanities projects on Christianity, the religious belief held by 75% of U.S. adults, according to a Gallup poll in 2015, came in third place with $241,788 in total for NEH grants in this final disbursement of funds. (Pew research states that about 0.9% of the U.S. population identifies as Muslim.) 

One of the projects that received the least funding ($25,200) is entitled,  “The Meaning of America: How the United States Became the City on a Hill,” a completion of the book on John Winthrop’s “A Model of Christian Charity” sermon.

The grant was awarded to Abram Van Engen at Washington University at St. Louis.

Receiving the same amount of money ($25,200) is a research project on the origins of the Holocaust and the genocide of the Jews. The project, at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, involves “research leading to publication of a monograph on the origins of the Holocaust.”

Most of the funds for these NEH grants were allocated in the agency’s budget request for FY 2017 by the Congress through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017. Congress approved an appropriation of $149,848,000 and President Donald Trump signed it into law on May 5, 2017.  (The fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, 2017.)

For FY 2018, which runs from Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018, the Trump administration has proposed eliminating the NEH with a major budget cut from $148 million down to $42 million. As the administration states, it “does not consider the activities within this agency to be core Federal responsibilities.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/msar.pdf

Below is a list of the NEA grants cited in this article:

Islam/Islam Related

College of New Jersey [Collaborative Research]

Outright: $271,000

Match: $30,000

Project Title: A Documentary History of Ismailism, the Second Largest Branch of Shia Islam, from the 16th through the 20th Centuries

Project Description: Preparation for publication of a co-authored book and the creation of an open-access digital repository of primary documents relating to Ismaili genealogical histories in Badakhshan in Central Asia.

 

Trustees of Indiana University, Indianapolis [Seminars for School Teachers]

Outright: $108,800

Project Title: Muslim American History and Life

Project Description: A three-week seminar for sixteen school teachers on the history and cultures of Muslims in the United States.

 

City Lore: NY Center for Urban Folk Culture [Institute for School Teachers]

Outright: $188,000

Project Title: A Reverence for Words: Understanding Muslim Cultures through the Arts

Project Description: A two-week institute for thirty schoolteachers on Islamic poetry and related arts

 

University of Oregon [Scholarly Editions and Translations]

Outright: $220,000

Project Title: A Critical Translation of the Capture of Jerusalem by the Persians in 614

Project Description: Preparation of a print and e-book annotated translation from Old Georgian and Arabic of the Capture of Jerusalem by the Persians in 61, a 7th century account of the Persian invasion of the city.

TOTAL: $817,800

President Donald Trump's budget proposal to eliminate the NEH in FY2018.  (wh.gov) 

 

Religious Diversity

University of California, Los Angeles [Institute for School Teachers]

Outright: $143,136

Project Title: Religious Landscapes of Los Angeles

Project Description: A two-week institute for thirty school teachers on religious diversity in America, using Los Angeles as a case study.

 

Interfaith Center of New York [Institute for School Teachers]

Outright: $170,550

Project Title: Religious Worlds of New York: Teaching the Everyday life of American Religious Diversity

Project Description: A three-week institute for twenty-five schoolteachers on religious diversity in New York City neighborhoods.

TOTAL: $313,686

 

Christian/Christian Related

University of Chicago, Illinois [Seminars for College Teachers]

Outright: $110,694

Project Title Enlightenment Thinkers: from Mandeville to Hegel

Project Description: A three-week seminar for sixteen college and university faculty examining Enlightenment political and social thought.

 

Louisiana State University and A&M College [Digital Humanities Advancement Grants]

Outright: $39,982

Project Title: V-ESPACE: Virtual Early Modern Spectacles and Publics; Active and Collaborative Environment

Project Description: The early-stage development of a virtual-reality environment that recreates an 18th-century theater at the Paris Fair. The environment is intended to provide users with an immersive experience that will allow them to learn about social and political issues, discourse, and status during the time of the Enlightenment.

 

Abram Van Engen, Washington University in St. Louis [Public Scholar Program]

Outright: $25,200

Project Title: The Meaning of America: How the United States Became the City on a Hill

Project Description: Completion of a book project on the history and influence of John Winthrop’s “City Upon a Hill” sermon (“A Model of Christian Charity”) from 1630 to the present.

 

CUNY Research Foundation, Graduate School and University Center [Scholarly Editions and Translations]

Outright: $65,912

Project Title: An Edition of Seminars on the Theory of Truth by American Philosopher Saul Kripke

Project Description: Preparation for print publication of a three-volume edition of the philosopher Saul Kripke’s Seminars on the Theory of Truth

TOTAL: $241,788

Isaac Newton as illustrated by William Blake.

(Public domain.) 

 

Buddhism

East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii [Institute for College and University Teachers]

Outright: $187,257

Project Title: Buddhist East Asia: Religion, the Arts and Politics

Project Description: A four-week institute for twenty-five college and university faculty examining how Buddhism has shaped East Asia.

 

Judaism

Jeffrey Veidlinger, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor [Public Scholar Program]

Outright: $25,200

Project Title: Pogrom: The Origins of the European Genocide of the Jews, 1917-1921

Project Description: Research leading to publication of a monograph on the origins of the Holocaust.