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Institute for Teaching World Religions
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Join world religion teachers from around North America for three days of study, discussion and inspiration!

6/24/2019 to 6/27/2019
When: June 24-27, 2018
Start: Monday, June 24, 4pm; End: Thursday, June 27, 10:00am
Where: Saint Thomas Choir School
202 West 58th Street
New York, New York  10019
United States

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CSEE Member Schools

Including Meals and Accommodations:  

Day-Only Attendees (includes lunch):  $700


Including Meals and Accommodations:  $1100 

Day-Only Attendees (includes lunch):  $900



Join world religion teachers from around North America for three days of study, discussion and inspiration! 

Knowledge of the world's religious traditions is vitally important for communication and understanding in our current world. CSEE's institute brings together university scholars and world religion teachers for study, discussion, activity sharing and camaraderie. Participants will leave with new knowledge, new ideas for the classroom, helpful resources and enduring contacts. Sessions will also include ways to incorporate the learned material into the classroom setting.



Monday June, 24th

3pm - Overnight Guests are welcome to check in
6pm - Opening Dinner at Maison Kayser: 1800 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
7pm - Welcome from CSEE, Participant Introductions, and Information Session about the Institute
8pm - "Why Teach About World Religions and How to Do It Well?" - Brian Blackmore

Tuesday June 25th

8am - Breakfast
9am - Lauren Kerby from the Harvard Divinity School of Religious Literacy
12pm - Lunch
1pm-4pm - 
Robert Geraci from Manhattan College

6pm - Dinner out: on your own or in groups.


Wednesday June 26th

8am - Breakfast
9am-12pm - Marion Holmes Katz from New York University
12pm - Lunch
1pm-4pm - Imam Khalid Latif from New York University

6pm - Dinner out: on your own or in groups.


Thursday June 27th

8am - Breakfast
9am-10am - Reflections, Networking, and Resource Sharing
10am-12pm - TBA
12pm-1pm - Closing Remarks and Evaluations



Key Presentations

Religious Literacy and Cultural Studies: Educating for Democratic Citizenship

The Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School works with K-12 and community college educators to advance the public understanding of religion with special attention to power, peace, and conflict. We believe that by promoting a more complex understanding of the roles religions play in both history and contemporary affairs, educators can train students to be active participants in building a more just and peaceful society. This workshop will introduce participants to the RLP’s approach and how religious literacy can be integrated into their courses.


Lauren R. Kerby is the Education Specialist for the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School and an Instructor in Religious Studies and Education at Harvard Extension School. She leads outreach to educators across the country and collaborates with them to integrate the study of religion into their courses. She earned her PhD in the study of American religion from Boston University.

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Religion, Science, & Technology: Practical Education for Civic Engagement

In this workshop, we will explore how the intersections of religion, science, and technology are crucial to civic engagement in the twenty-first century. We will first discuss the nature of each concept, but more importantly the nature of their intersection. With agreed-upon definitions for such interactions, the presenter will then reveal how those kinds of intersections occupy his own teaching and his research in varied cultures, with particular reference to the digital technologies of robotics, artificial intelligence, and videogames. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of how one might incorporate such study into a high school curriculum, with particular interest in how that study could be leveraged to benefit students who will soon enter public life as adults and full citizens in the body politic.


Robert M Geraci is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in New York City. He is internationally recognized for his research addressing the intersection of religion and technology, and is presently working on two projects engaging how religion and science intersect in India. He is the author of three books: Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality (Oxford 2010), Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life (Oxford, 2014), and Temples of Modernity: Nationalism, Hinduism, and Transhumanism in South Indian Science (Lexington, 2018). His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Religion, and two separate Fulbright-Nehru research awards (2012-13, 2018-19); he is a Fellow in the International Society for Science and Religion.


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Ritual in Islamic Law and Practice: A Historical Overview


Islamic law provides detailed rules regulating rituals including prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage. Nevertheless, historically law has been only one of the frameworks that Muslims have brought to bear on the validity and value of ritual practices. This presentation will look at a variety of examples from past and present, looking at the rituals Muslims have engaged in and the ways in which they have evaluated and debated correct practice, with special attention to issues of gender. 



Marion Holmes Katz received a BA from Yale and a PhD from the University of Chicago, and is a Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. Her research revolves around issues of Islamic law, gender, and ritual. Her publications include Body of Text: The Emergence of the Sunni Law of Ritual Purity (SUNY Press, 2002), The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad: Devotional Piety in Sunni Islam (Routledge, 2007), Prayer in Islamic Thought and Practice (Cambridge, 2013) and Women in the Mosque: A History of Legal Thought and Social Practice (Columbia University Press, 2014).




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Presentation from Imam Latif

Imam Latif will discuss some of the primary issues and concerns on the minds of American Muslims today, especially for young people. How can we support young Muslims today? And what are the best practices for facilitating interreligious dialogue and engagement on school campuses?




Imam Khalid Latif is the University Chaplain for New York University and Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU. Imam Latif has not only managed to solidify the basis of a strong Muslim community at NYU that seeks to emphasize inclusiveness and understanding of others without compromise, but has also worked tirelessly to foster dialogue with people of other faiths in order to clarify misconceptions and encourage mutual education. His work has brought him to share stages with the likes of Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama, and many grassroot movements and diverse communities throughout the world.

In 2012, Imam Latif co-founded with NYU's Vice-Chancellor Linda Mills, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, and Chelsea Clinton the Of Many Institute, a groundbreaking programmatic model for multifaith leadership at the university level. The OM Institute supports a new generation of religious and civic leaders who, deeply rooted in their own religious and spiritual traditions, reach across faith boundaries to solve social problems together. Imam Latif currently serves as a Senior Fellow with OM and, amongst other things, co-teaches the popular course "Multifaith Leadership in the 21st Century" with his good friend Rabbi Yehuda Sarna.

He has received many accolades for his work and has been featured in numerous media outlets including the Huffington Post, BBC, NPR, CNN, and the New York Times.



“The content was incredible... The quality of presenters—and participants—made for an exceptional learning experience. Thank you!” - past participant

“The people are always the most amazing part—the participants and the presenters alike. I feel like I’m coming home to ‘my people’ when I come to this conference.” - two time attendee 



Travel / Accommodations


Laguardia, Newark, and JFK airports serve the area. The school is one block away from the Columbus Circle subway station (A, C, B, D, and 1 trains), and on the same block as the 57th Street-7th Avenue subway station (N, Q, R, and W trains). For a map and more information on getting to Choir School, please visit:


Participants will have single rooms in the St. Thomas Choir School dormitory. 

The Area

St. Thomas Choir School is located in the heart of Manhattan: one block walk to Central Park, ten blocks to Times Square, six blocks to the Museum of Modern Art, and ten blocks to Rockefeller Center. In addition to things within walking distance, the school has convenient subway access to many other parts of the city.


 Please see CSEE's Event Policy to learn more about cancellations and refunds.


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