In two short years, with support from the John Templeton Foundation and the Templeton Religion Trust, Zaytuna College has established a multimedia publication with the bold ambition of shaping the public discourse about the critical ideas and ethical challenges that face modern society. Already, David Bentley Hart, a philosopher at the University of Notre Dame, calls Renovatio “intellectually rich and bracing,” Eva Brann, a National Humanities Medal winner, describes it as “an archetypal American phenomenon,” and Oludamini Ogunnaike, a young scholar of Islam at the College of William and Mary, finds it “at once serious and accessible.” This proposal aims to build upon the rapid foundational successes of Renovatio.
In its third year, Renovatio seeks to not only fortify its credibility and its prestige in the intellectual community, but to also significantly grow its readership through several outreach initiatives. With four issues published and more than 70 pieces of content on our website already, we will publish two more issues in this grant period, host six events, and post multimedia content (videos and podcasts) to bring the total content to between 120 and 140 pieces during this grant period. With a critical mass of content on the website, we will begin to pro-actively seek out new readers who, with plenty to chew on, will increasingly become return visitors. During this project’s term, we will execute a multi-tiered audience development strategy, which includes adding an audience development manager to the Renovatio team and a strategic investment in social media outreach and some limited advertising online. By the end of the project’s term, we envision a steadily growing multimedia publication regarded as a source for intellectual leadership not only for the Muslim community but also for a broader global audience.