By Nicholas Scrimenti
This lesson illustrates the key principles of internal diversity, historical change, and cultural embeddedness using Erik Braun’s article about Burmese meditation vis-à-vis British colonialism. The story of how British colonialism in Burma shaped the way meditation was taught and practiced in Burma, as well as its subsequent export to the United States, is a clear object-lesson in the tenets of religious literacy.
By Lauren R. Kerby
On September 8-9, 2020, academics across the country, including faculty and staff at the Religious Literacy Project, are participating in teach-ins for racial justice known as the #ScholarStrike. I assigned these readings from James Baldwin, Patricia Hill Collins, and Tressie McMillan Cottom to my students at Harvard Divinity School to start our semester studying the history of education and religion in the U.S. For others interested in these questions, I offer them as resources for thinking about how critical pedagogy can serve the goals of racial justice.
By Sean Radcliff
When I set out to teach a class on the “major world religions,” I knew that so much would have to end up on the cutting room floor. I knew that I’d have to be efficient in order to cover the “most important aspects” of each religion. With that in mind, I planned out my whole year in advance – something I had never done before. I’d have 12 blocks of 90 minutes each to teach about Islam. It still wasn’t a lot of time, but I organized what I thought was a really solid unit. But as we were getting close to finish the 3rd quarter of the student year, COVID-19 disrupted all of my plans.
By Lauren R. Kerby
This lesson uses two different images of Christopher Columbus to challenge students to move beyond how they may have been taught to think about violence and peace. It asks them to identify cultural violence and cultural peace in images that may challenge what they think of as violent or peaceful. It also offers suggestions for how to connect these ideas to current events, including Black Lives Matter.