Linda K. Wertheimer

Mar 27, 2019

Faith Ed

Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance

Beacon Press 2016

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Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance (Beacon Press, 2017) by Linda K. Wertheimer profiles the beauty and difficulty of teaching about religion in public schools. Teaching about religion in a public school in the United States is rewarding, but very difficult. It is not hyperbolic to say that one moment, everything is going fine and students are learning a lot and the next the class is on the news and steeped in controversy. Do an internet search using the term “Burkagate,” or look up the story of a Wellesley, Massachusetts 6th-grade class who visited a mosque on a field trip in Boston in 2010. In 2015, a school district in Virginia cancelled all classes in December 2015 after a controversy erupted from a teacher asking students to copy Arabic calligraphy which just happened to recite the Shahada, the Muslim statement of faith and one of the pillars of Islam. A Florida school district found itself mired in controversy over a guest speaker from the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR for short). The book is out in hardback and paperback from Beacon Press.

Greg Soden is the host "Classical Ideas," a podcast about religion and religious ideas. You can find it on iTunes here.

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