Religious Literacy | Sojourners

Religious Literacy

FINALLY! DUANE SHANK'S article "A Path Between the Extremes," (March-April 2000) says what I've been saying for years. You can teach about religion without proselytizing. People need to know about the Bible because it is an integral part of our history and culture. Teaching Western history without any mention of the Bible or any reference to Judaism and Christianity is like teaching about Middle Eastern politics without any reference to Judaism or Islam, or teaching English literature with no reference to Shakespeare. Yet that is what public education has been doing for 30 years.

In my world religions course in college, we studied about many religions. It was not like, "We're studying Zen this week. That means we all convert to Buddhism. Next week, we have to convert to Confucianism." No! Christians came out Christian, Jews came out Jewish, agnostics came out agnostic, but now if I meet a Zen Buddhist or Confucianist, I know something about his or her culture and worldview. How did that ever become unconstitutional?

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 2000
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