Religious Literacy

Author: Stephen Prothero
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061856215
Format: PDF, Docs
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The United States is one of the most religious places on earth, but it is also a nation of shocking religious illiteracy. Only 10 percent of American teenagers can name all five major world religions and 15 percent cannot name any. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the Bible holds the answers to all or most of life's basic questions, yet only half of American adults can name even one of the four gospels and most Americans cannot name the first book of the Bible. Despite this lack of basic knowledge, politicians and pundits continue to root public policy arguments in religious rhetoric whose meanings are missed—or misinterpreted—by the vast majority of Americans. "We have a major civic problem on our hands," says religion scholar Stephen Prothero. He makes the provocative case that to remedy this problem, we should return to teaching religion in the public schools. Alongside "reading, writing, and arithmetic," religion ought to become the "Fourth R" of American education. Many believe that America's descent into religious illiteracy was the doing of activist judges and secularists hell-bent on banishing religion from the public square. Prothero reveals that this is a profound misunderstanding. "In one of the great ironies of American religious history," Prothero writes, "it was the nation's most fervent people of faith who steered us down the road to religious illiteracy. Just how that happened is one of the stories this book has to tell." Prothero avoids the trap of religious relativism by addressing both the core tenets of the world's major religions and the real differences among them. Complete with a dictionary of the key beliefs, characters, and stories of Christianity, Islam, and other religions, Religious Literacy reveals what every American needs to know in order to confront the domestic and foreign challenges facing this country today.

Introduction To Bibliology

Author: Jefrey D. Breshears
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1532617194
Format: PDF
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All serious Christians understand the importance of Bible study, but relatively few have a solid foundation in bibliology or an informed and thoughtful philosophy of the Bible. In Introduction to Bibliology, Jefrey Breshears explores issues of vital interest and concern to Christians and non-Christians alike regarding the content and authority of the Bible, including: - What is the Bible? If asked to define the Bible without using the familiar cliche, "The Bible is the written Word of God," how would you respond? - Does the Bible present a coherent, consistent, comprehensive, and compelling worldview and philosophy of life? - Is there a qualitative difference between the kind of inspiration that we encounter in Scripture and that which motivates gifted writers, speakers, preachers, composers, and artists to produce their works? - Why is it reasonable to believe that the Bible was supernaturally inspired? - What are the origins of the Bible, and how were the early manuscripts composed? - What were the criteria by which certain books were included or excluded from the Bible? - What are the basic principles that should guide our interpretation of Scripture? - How can we be confident that the Bible has been accurately preserved and transmitted through the centuries? In this substantive yet digestible study, Jefrey Breshears addresses these and many other issues and concerns that every Christian--and non-Christian--should know about the Bible.

RE Teachers Religious Literacy

Author: Ole K. Kjørven
Publisher: Waxmann Verlag
ISBN: 383098488X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The author conducted an empirical study on RE teachers' religious literacy, more specifically, on how they interpret a religious narrative. The transactional analysis of the RE teachers' interpretations of The Prodigal Son brought forth four categories or typologies: the immanent approach, the ethical, the Christian, and the dialogical approach. The typologies reflect that the RE teachers' interpretations are determined by different factors, more precisely, by the decisions made in the actual text-reader transactions. Kjørven therefore argues that it is important for RE teachers and RE teacher students to develop an awareness of and knowledge about the complexity of what is involved in meaning-making processes. A literacy of this kind, he concludes, will promote critical skills and thinking in school and in education. Ole Kolbjørn Kjørven works as an associate professor in religious education at Hedmark University of Applied Sciences in Norway. His research interests include teacher research and intercultural education. In 2014 Kjørven received his Ph.D for a thesis on RE teachers' religious literacy.

Engaging the Culture Changing the World

Author: Philip W. Eaton
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 0830868674
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Drawing on the social critical thinking of Lesslie Newbigin, Richard Hays, Walter Brueggemann, Richard Mouw, Richard John Neuhaus, Charles Taylor and James Davison Hunter, Philip W. Eaton proposes an alternative idea of the Christian university that aims to equip students for responsible engagement in our post-Christian context. Going against the mainstream of Christian higher education, Eaton envisions a place that considers engagement and interaction with culture to be a positive priority. Going against the mainstream of secular higher education, Eaton envisions a place where the grand narrative of the Christian gospel is affirmed as a life-giving response to the critical issues of our day. We need not resign ourselves to exile on the margins of society nor blend in with the pervasive secular society. Engaging the Culture, Changing the World foresees a third way: the Christian university that stands in distinction and compassion, a community that models human flourishing to the world.

Religious literacy in policy and practice

Author: Adam Dinham
Publisher: Policy Press
ISBN: 1447316681
Format: PDF, Docs
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It has long been assumed that religion is in decline in the West: however it continues to have an important yet contested role in individual lives and in society at large. Furthermore half a century or so in which religion and belief were barely talked about in public has resulted in a pressing lack of religious literacy, leaving many illequipped to engage with religion and belief when they encounter them in daily life – in relationships, law, media, the professions, business and politics, among others. This valuable book is the first to bring together theory and policy with analysis and expertise on practices in key areas of the public realm to explore what religious literacy is, why it is needed and what might be done about it. It makes the case for a public realm which is well equipped to engage with the plurality and pervasiveness of religion and belief, whatever the individual’s own stance. It is aimed at academics, policymakers and practitioners interested in the policy and practice implications of the continuing presence of religion and belief in the public sphere.

No Longer Invisible

Author: Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977135
Format: PDF
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Winner of a 2013 American Educational Studies Association Critics' Choice Award Drawing on conversations with hundreds of professors, co-curricular educators, administrators, and students from institutions spanning the entire spectrum of American colleges and universities, the Jacobsens illustrate how religion is constructively intertwined with the work of higher education in the twenty-first century. No Longer Invisible documents how, after decades when religion was marginalized, colleges and universities are re-engaging matters of faith-an educational development that is both positive and necessary. Religion in contemporary American life is now incredibly complex, with religious pluralism on the rise and the categories of "religious" and "secular" often blending together in a dizzying array of lifestyles and beliefs. Using the categories of historic religion, public religion, and personal religion, No Longer Invisible offers a new framework for understanding this emerging religious terrain, a framework that can help colleges and universities-and the students who attend them-interact with religion more effectively. The stakes are high: Faced with escalating pressures to focus solely on job training, American higher education may find that paying more careful and nuanced attention to religion is a prerequisite for preserving American higher education's longstanding commitment to personal, social, and civic learning.

With God on All Sides

Author: Douglas A. Hicks
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199831050
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Perhaps no other nation is or has ever been as religiously diverse as the United States. For elected officials, school principals, corporate leaders, and many others, this diversity poses unique challenges. Leaders bring their own faiths to public life, and they daily encounter followers of similar and different faiths. Good leadership must draw together people from varied backgrounds in order to achieve something in common. This is no simple task. How should leaders deal with menorahs and crosses, veils and turbans, prayers and holidays? How do they and their followers turn the cacophony of beliefs and practices into a kind of citizenship worthy of the American tradition of religious freedom? How can they honor the religious convictions of all Americans? In With God on All Sides, Douglas A. Hicks provides a roadmap for leaders as they traverse the post-9/11 landscape. Although the devout possess moral and spiritual resources that can enrich civic life, leaders must also be prepared to cope with nearly inevitable conflicts between people of different faiths. Yet wise leaders can find ways to transform the problem of diversity into an opportunity. Drawing on their moral and spiritual resources, Americans of all creeds have the capacity to enhance the quality of our civic debate. Their faith-based practices create occasions for mutual learning. Hicks tells the stories of how diverse Americans have transformed public controversies into cases of cooperation. The key to good leadership, Hicks writes, is to engage one another across lines of difference with a spirit of humility, build communication and trust, and offer an inclusive vision that is true to America's principles. Based on years of research and practical experience, With God on All Sides provides an invaluable and thought-provoking guide to leadership--and citizenship--in our devout and diverse nation.

American Christianities

Author: Catherine A. Brekus
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807869147
Format: PDF
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From the founding of the first colonies until the present, the influence of Christianity, as the dominant faith in American society, has extended far beyond church pews into the wider culture. Yet, at the same time, Christians in the United States have disagreed sharply about the meaning of their shared tradition, and, divided by denominational affiliation, race, and ethnicity, they have taken stances on every side of contested public issues from slavery to women's rights. This volume of twenty-two original essays, contributed by a group of prominent thinkers in American religious studies, provides a sophisticated understanding of both the diversity and the alliances among Christianities in the United States and the influences that have shaped churches and the nation in reciprocal ways. American Christianities explores this paradoxical dynamic of dominance and diversity that are the true marks of a faith too often perceived as homogeneous and monolithic. Contributors: Catherine L. Albanese, University of California, Santa Barbara James B. Bennett, Santa Clara University Edith Blumhofer, Wheaton College Ann Braude, Harvard Divinity School Catherine A. Brekus, University of Chicago Divinity School Kristina Bross, Purdue University Rebecca L. Davis, University of Delaware Curtis J. Evans, University of Chicago Divinity School Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University Kathleen Flake, Vanderbilt University Divinity School W. Clark Gilpin, University of Chicago Divinity School Stewart M. Hoover, University of Colorado at Boulder Jeanne Halgren Kilde, University of Minnesota David W. Kling, University of Miami Timothy S. Lee, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University Dan McKanan, Harvard Divinity School Michael D. McNally, Carleton College Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame Jon Pahl, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Sally M. Promey, Yale University Jon H. Roberts, Boston University Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University

Religion and the Marketplace in the United States

Author: Jan Stievermann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190266570
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Alexis de Tocqueville once described the national character of Americans as one question insistently asked: "How much money will it bring in?" G.K. Chesterton, a century later, described America as a "nation with a soul of a church." At first glance, the two observations might appear to be diametrically opposed, but this volume shows the ways in which American religion and American business overlap and interact with one another, defining the US in terms of religion, and religion in terms of economics. Bringing together original contributions by leading experts and rising scholars from both America and Europe, the volume pushes this field of study forward by examining the ways religions and markets in relationship can provide powerful insights and open unseen aspects into both. In essays ranging from colonial American mercantilism to modern megachurches, from literary markets to popular festivals, the authors explore how religious behavior is shaped by commerce, and how commercial practices are informed by religion. By focusing on what historians often use off-handedly as a metaphor or analogy, the volume offers new insights into three varieties of relationships: religion and the marketplace, religion in the marketplace, and religion as the marketplace. Using these categories, the contributors test the assumptions scholars have come to hold, and offer deeper insights into religion and the marketplace in America.

Prison Religion

Author: Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400830370
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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More than the citizens of most countries, Americans are either religious or in jail--or both. But what does it mean when imprisonment and evangelization actually go hand in hand, or at least appear to? What do "faith-based" prison programs mean for the constitutional separation of church and state, particularly when prisoners who participate get special privileges? In Prison Religion, law and religion scholar Winnifred Fallers Sullivan takes up these and other important questions through a close examination of a 2005 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a faith-based residential rehabilitation program in an Iowa state prison. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship Ministries, a trial in which Sullivan served as an expert witness, centered on the constitutionality of allowing religious organizations to operate programs in state-run facilities. Using the trial as a case study, Sullivan argues that separation of church and state is no longer possible. Religious authority has shifted from institutions to individuals, making it difficult to define religion, let alone disentangle it from the state. Prison Religion casts new light on church-state law, the debate over government-funded faith-based programs, and the predicament of prisoners who have precious little choice about what kind of rehabilitation they receive, if they are offered any at all.