I guess one of the positives of COVID in an academic perspective for me is that this summer there were virtual opportunities available for professional development (PD). Considering I am now 8 months pregnant, there was no way Will & I were going to travel around like we normally do. This summer, I participated in only one content-specific PD (my other 2 PDs were school-based and more on teaching than learning). This was put on by Rice University’s Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance. Normally, if you did not live nearby, you’d have to pay to travel to the program without compensation. The fact that it is available virtual means people like me, from Florida, can participate!
What I really liked about this PD is that is was not just a rehash of the basics of the five major world religions but more about religion in practice & its intersection with other aspects of general life. The reading list reflects the complex nature of this PD, so this would not be considered a “brief” introduction on world religions. If you are looking for a reading list that covers some of those elements try these resources provided by the program:
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive some compensation.
Here’s the general reading list for Key Historical Themes in Religion & Culture for Social Studies & ELA Educators:
- First Amendment Best Practices A Learning and Teaching Matrix
- Blackmore, Brian. “Teaching about World Religions as Diversity Education.” CSEE Connections Quarterly, Winter 2018, pp. 2-5.
- C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Geography, and History
- American Academy of Religion: Guidelines for Teaching About Religion in K-12 Public Schools
- Owen, Suzanne. “Druidry and the Definition of Indigenous Religion.” In James L. Cox (Ed.) Critical Reflections on Indigenous Religions. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2013, pp. 81-92.
- Carrasco, Davíd & Roberto Lint Sagarena. “The Religious Vision of Gloria Anzaldúa: Borderlands/La Frontera as a Shamanic Space.” Mexican American Religions: Spirituality, Activism, and Culture. Gastón Espinosa & Mario T. García (Eds). Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008, pp. 223-240.
- Hedenborg-White, Manon. “Contemporary Paganism.” In Controversial New Religions (Second Edition). James R. Lewis & Jesper A. Petersen (Eds). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 315-329.
Comparing Religions in Public (Schools)
- A, B, C Six Guidelines Comparing Religions Responsibly
- Kripal, Jeffrey J. “Comparing Religions in Public: Rural America, Evangelicals, and the Prophetic Function of the Humanities.” Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017, pp. 296-311.
Religion & Science
- Berkman, Michael B., Pacheco, Julianna S., & Eric Pultzer. “Evolution and Creationism in America’s Classrooms: A National Portrait.” PLoS Biology, May 2008, Vol. 6, No. 5, pp. 920-924.
- Clements, Niki K. “Introduction: Religion, Cognition, and the Brain Sciences.” Religion: Mental Religion (1st Edition). Niki K. Clements (Ed). Farmington Hills: Cengage Learning, 2016, pp. xv-xxvii.
Religion & Nature
- Tucker, Mary E. & John Grim. “The Movement of Religion and Ecology – Emerging Field and Dynamic Force.” Yale University Forum on Religion and Ecology. https://fore.yale.edu/World-Religions/World-Religions-Overview-Essay
- Steinbeck, John. ““Chapter 17.” The Grapes of Wrath . Penguin Putnam, Inc. 1939.
- Funk, Cary. “Key findings: How Americans’ attitudes about climate change differ by generation, party and other factors.” Pew Research Center. May 26, 2021. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/05/26/key-findings-how-americans-attitudes-about-climate-change-differ-by-generation-party-and-other-factors/
- Kijiner, Kathy J. “United Nations Climate Summit Opening Ceremony – A Poem to my Daughter.” Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner (blog). September, 24, 2014. https://www.kathyjetnilkijiner.com/
Indigeneity, Paganism, & the Future of the Past
- Burkhart, Brian Y. “What Coyote and Thales can Teach Us: An Outline of American Indian Epistemology.” American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays. Ann Waters (Ed.) Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004, pp. 15-26.
- Beckett, John. “The Four Corners of Paganism.” Patheos. May 28, 2014. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2014/05/the-four-centers-of-paganism.html
- Sanchez, Stefan. “The Song Sings the Singer: A Reflection on Indigenous and Pagan Relationships to Music”
- Momaday, N. Scott. “Chapter 11 & 14.” The Way to Rainy Mountain. University of New Mexico Press, 1976, pp. 38-41 & 48-51
- Sweet, Leonard I. “Christopher Columbus and the Millennial Vision of the New World.” The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 72, No. 3, July 1986, pp. 369-382.
- José Barreiro. “Folio I: Our Reality and Theirs.” Taíno: A Novel. Fulcrum Publishing, 2012.
Religion, Healing, & YA Literature
- Leon, Luis D. “‘Soy una Curandera y Soy una Catolica:’ The Poetics of a Mexican Healing Tradition.” Horizons of the Sacred: Mexican Traditions in U.S. Catholicism. Timothy Matovina & Gary Riebe-Estrella (Ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018, pp. 95-118.
- Viramontes, Helena M. “The Moths.” The Moths and Other Stories. Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1985, pp. 32-37.
- Anzaldúa, Gloria. “Healing Wounds.” 2002.
Religion & Immigration
- Eichman, Jennifer. “Prominent Nuns: Influential Taiwanese Voices.” Religion in Asia Today. September 2011, Vol. 61, No. 3, pp. 345-373
Religion & Justice
- Singh, Simran J. Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon. New York: Random House, 2020.
- Smith, Heather H. “The Complexity of Characters: Representing Disability.” Diverse Book Finder. December 15, 2020. https://diversebookfinder.org/browse/the-complexity-of-characters-representing-disability/