Religious literacy is often associated with information about the beliefs, ritual practices, and sacred spaces associated with “world religions.” In this Craft of Teaching / Martin Marty Center workshop, led by Prof. Diane Moore (Harvard Divinity School), we will explore a more complex understanding of religious literacy that focuses on a method for understanding how religions function in human experience. We will examine why better literacy about religion is essential for understanding human affairs in contemporary and historic contexts and how a critical theory approach to teaching and learning about religion in secondary and post-secondary classrooms is relevant for both education broadly defined and healthy civic life.
In particular, the necessity and nature of teaching religion at the secondary-school level will be emphasized, as one of the crucial and underappreciated sites where the craft of teaching religion takes place.
Diane L. Moore is the director of the Religious Literacy Project and a Senior Scholar at the Center for the Study of World Religions. She focuses her research on enhancing the public understanding of religion through education from the lens of critical theory. Moore chaired the American Academy of Religion’s Task Force on Religion in the Schools, which conducted a three-year initiative to establish guidelines for teaching about religion in K-12 public schools (PDF) that were published in 2010. She is the coordinator for the Religious Studies and Education Certificate, and her book Overcoming Religious Illiteracy: A Cultural Studies Approach to the Study of Religion in Secondary Education was published by Palgrave in 2007.
The Craft of Teaching (CoT) is the Divinity School’s program of pedagogical development for its graduate students, dedicated to preparing a new generation of accomplished educators in the field of religious studies. We bring together Divinity School faculty, current students, and an extensive alumni network of decorated teachers to share our craft and to advance critical reflection on religious studies pedagogy
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