Teaching religious plurality: a second naivete

University courses in diversity education typically revolve around issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation, but the religious factors of American diversity are generally ignored. This article argues that religious plurality should be included in diversity curricula. Because religious communit...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The journal of religion & society
Authors: Wise, Constance ; West, Richmond
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Creighton University 2002
In: The journal of religion & society
Year: 2002, Volume: 4
Further subjects:B Education; Methods
B Pluralism
B Universities and colleges; Curriculum
B Religious
B Universities and colleges; United States
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Description
Summary:University courses in diversity education typically revolve around issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation, but the religious factors of American diversity are generally ignored. This article argues that religious plurality should be included in diversity curricula. Because religious communities do in fact contribute to the public life of this country, undergraduate students should take religion seriously as part of the American public scene. Moreover, encountering religious differences can contribute to students' acceptance of other diversity factors. This essay reviews a course the authors designed and taught at the University of Denver. Students explored the issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and the environment as engaged by five religious traditions - Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and religious alternatives (such as Native American Spirituality and Wicca). To foster critical thinking, teaching methods were based on cooperative learning rather than teacher authority. In this course students learned to assess critically religious communities' contributions to the broader society. The course demonstrates that students can move beyond personal biases to focus on social issues that challenge internalized values.
ISSN:1522-5658
Contains:Enthalten in: The journal of religion & society
Persistent identifiers:HDL: 10504/64394