Religious Literacy in Public Schools: What to Teach and How (Cancelled)

Friday, March 29, 2019
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Religious Freedom Center
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
This program has been cancelled.

The Religious Freedom Center and National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) invite you to join a panel of experts for a timely discussion about the role of religious studies in the public school curriculum. What is religious literacy and why is it essential for citizenship in a religiously diverse society and world? The event celebrates the publication of “Teaching about Religion in the Social Studies Classroom,” an invaluable new resource from NCSS.

Book description

The study of religion is essential for understanding the past and present, and critical for global citizenship in a religiously diverse country and world. This book provides advice, recommendations, and resources to help social studies educators know what to teach about religion and how to do it.

The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that teaching about religion is constitutional in public schools, as long as the approach is academic, not devotional. The contributors to this book offer guidelines for classroom instruction that is both constitutionally and academically sound. They clarify the First Amendment issues that impact teachers and schools, and emphasize that the study of religion in schools is an essential part of a good education.

The authors explore the diversity of religious traditions and suggest ways of teaching about them objectively, especially through creative pedagogies that engage students actively and offer them a more profound understanding of these traditions than many textbooks provide. This invaluable book will help teachers promote knowledge and understanding in the place of stereotypes as they advance religious literacy among their students.


  • Ben Marcus, religious literacy specialist of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Charles Haynes, founding director of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Kristen Farrington, executive director of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Scott Abbott, director of social studies, D.C. Public Schools
  • Susan Douglas, education outreach coordinator at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University

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