December Dilemma v. Thinking Broadly about Religion in Schools

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As I write this, K-12 schools are wrapping up classes or may have already finished them for winter breaks. In elementary schools, no doubt, many teachers have felt compelled to mention Christmas and Hanukkah in some way.

Look at the photo above, though. First-grade teacher Debbie Fagg at the Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, KS, is teaching about Hanukkah in early November as part of a multi-week unit on three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. She brought the menorah … Continue reading

What Can We Do When Bigotry Seems So Present?

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What can we do to help? I have been giving talks about teaching about religion and the experience of religious minorities in America for more than a year. That question came up sporadically before the election campaigning began in earnest. Now, I get the question every time.

Like I, people I meet are worried and even frightened about the growing vitriol in our country toward people of color, immigrants, Jews and Muslims. I wrote about the hope I had before the election results came … Continue reading

Seeing Hope in America on Election Eve

It’s the eve of Election Day. I’m anxious, just like the rest of America. I worry about the divisiveness in our country. This tumultuous election has revealed bigotry in many forms, toward people of color, toward Jews, toward people with disabilities, and toward Muslims. Yet, I have a twinge of hope. Continue reading

Reflections from a Religion Writing Conference, Plus Major Award for Faith Ed

Faith Ed wins a national religion book award and the author’s reflections on a national religion writing conference. Continue reading

Learning about Ramadan

It’s easy to know what to say to Christians when Christmas rolls around. “Merry Christmas,” of course.
But how many people know how to greet Muslims, Jews, or celebrants of other non-Christian faiths during their observances? This week marked the start of Ramadan for Muslims. Continue reading

Making the Case for Teaching about Religion in the Big D, TV & more

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So much to catch up on as Faith Ed, my book on teaching about religion in the schools celebrates its ninth month of existence. I recently traveled to Dallas to give a talk for the Jewish Book Council. Pictured with me above are: Mark Chancey, a religion scholar from Southern Methodist University, who participated in a panel with me and Rabbi Steve Gutow, and the panel moderator Cheryl Drazin. Cheryl led us through a discussion on the issues covered in Faith Ed, including some … Continue reading

Faith Ed Book Review, Interview Round-up

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Here are links to book reviews, when available online, and interviews:

Jewish Book Council review.

Boston Globe review by Kate Tuttle.

Wichita Eagle Review by former religion editor Tom Schaefer.

New York Times Sunday Book Review by Naomi Schaefer Reilly.

 Religion & Education has reviewed Faith Ed. and given it a nod in a foreword, too. Many thanks to the journal editor Mike Waggoner and reviewer Nicholas Piediscalzi. Here’s a snippet from the review, which also included Dr. Piediscalzi’s wonderful insight about … Continue reading

Weighing in on Anti-Semitic chants, Brussels & More

Once again, recent terrorist attacks highlight the need for more education about religion, so do events closer to home. Read the latest Faith Ed. newsletter to find out more & keep up with events. Continue reading