Resources for Religious literacy

Several valuable and informative resources are available to help one become more religiously literate.  Below is an ongoing accumulation of the best resources I have found for educators and the general public.

Free and for the general public:

For educators:

In-person workshops and seminars:

I also encourage you to search for emerging religious literacy programs for educators in your local communities (such as the one coordinated by Chris Murray in Maryland in June 2016).

Online resources:

Books:

In addition to these resources, I have compiled a document titled “Tips for creating a religiously inclusive classroom” that can be downloaded here.  The tips include:

  1. Know your own students. There are a lot of religions in the world. Start with the ones present in your classroom.
  2. Learn our ABCDs. We don’t need to be theologians, but we can at least learn the:
    a. Architecture: Know what the house of worship is called, like mandir (Hindu), masjid or mosque (Muslim), and gurdwara (Sikh).
    b. Books: Know the name(s) of the religion’s holy text(s).
    c. Cities: Know the names and locations of the religion’s holiest cities, like Amritsar (Sikhism), Mecca and Medina (Islam), and Varanasi/Benares (Hinduism).
    d. Days: Know the names and meanings of the religion’s major holidays, like Diwali and Holi (Hinduism), Ramadan and Eid ul’ Fitr (Islam), and Vaisaki (Sikhism).
  3. Recognize religion as part of students’ social identities. Understand how this makes religion especially salient for some students, and how the family’s religion may be important even to students who don’t see themselves as “religious.”
  4. Avoid the urge to “Christianize” religions and holidays. e.g., saying “Ramadan is like Lent” or “Janmastami is like Christmas.”
  5. Include religion in our curricula whenever it’s appropriate. Discuss how different religions deal with the concept at hand.