What We Do


What is Shinto?  |    Flowering Japanese gift cherry blossoms in Washington DC

What is Shinto? | Flowering lotus blossom

Our Work

Historically, ISF has supported the study of Shintoism and Japanese culture at leading universities. Today, ISF is a leading proponent of interreligious cooperation. This includes the continued fostering of Shinto values and perspectives, given their contributions to peace.

ISF accomplishes its mission by supporting:

  • academic chairs, published works, and the study of Shintoism at Columbia University (New York), University of California (UCLA and UCSB), Zhejiang University (China), London University, and beyond;
  • major interfaith organizations and initiatives, both nationally and globally, including Religions for Peace, Parliament of the World’s Religions, Inter-Faith Action for Peace in Africa, Religions for Peace USA, Hartford Seminary, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the (U.S.) President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge, among others; and
  • promotion of the general public’s understanding about the principles and mission of the United Nations.

What is Interfaith?

We live in a pluralistic religious world.   Modern realities of migration, transportation, communication, globalization, education and intermarriage – among other things – have brought us increasingly closer to “the other.” However, this “closeness” can highlight differences, make for cognitive dissonance, and even create tension.

“Interreligious cooperation,” or “interfaith” as it is often simply called, recognizes the common shared values of faith traditions and works to advance a world in which people of faith and goodwill can live together in harmony. Interreligious cooperation is dialogue, education, action, and advocacy that strengthens the capacity of distinct faiths and people to live in harmony.

Today, ISF focuses on supporting major institutions championing the positive appropriation of religious diversity and sincere appreciation of unique traditions.