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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!

6/22/2020 to 6/25/2020
When: June 22-25, 2020
Where: Online Event via Zoom
United States

Online registration is closed.
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COVID-19 Note: This event will now take place online, via Zoom.

CSEE Member Schools & ADVIS Members*

Online Event via Zoom:  $650

*ADVIS members: please use the ADVIS promo code at checkout to receive the member rate.


Online Event via Zoom:  $850



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.

CSEE uses Zoom for our online professional development. Classes will include presentations, and all-class and small breakout group discussions. 



Note: All times are Eastern.


Monday June, 22nd

12:45pm:  Participants are welcome to sign into Zoom early to check audio, etc.

1pm-2pm: Welcome, Introduction, and Opening Remarks with Brian Blackmore

2:15pm-3:30pm: Course Design and Syllabus Construction Workshop


Tuesday June 23rd

9:00am-12pm: Introduction to A Cultural Studies Approach to Teaching about World Religions with Lauren Kerby, Education Specialist at the Religious Literacy Project (Harvard University)

12pm-1pm: Lunch

1pm-3:30pm: Case Studies and Application of the RLP Method with Lauren Kerby


Wednesday June 24th

8:30am-9:30am: Best Practices for Site Visits to Houses of Worship with Henry Goldschmidt

9:45am-12:00pm: Reconsidering the World Religions approach to Teaching about Religious Diversity with Henry Goldschmidt, Director of the Interfaith Center of New York

12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm-2:30pm: Workshop on Teaching about Judaism

2:45pm-4:00pm: Workshop on Teaching about Christianity


Thursday June 25th

8:30am-9:15am: Teaching about Hinduism Workshop

9:30am-12pm: Presentation about Teaching Buddhism, Dr. Jonathan Gold

12pm-1pm: Lunch

1pm-3:30pm: Ali Mian: Teaching About Islam

3:30pm-4pm: Closing Remarks and Evaluations




Key Presentations


Lauren R. Kerby is a lecturer on religious studies at Harvard Divinity School and the education specialist for the Religious Literacy Project. She teaches courses on American religion and education as well as religious literacy in media. She also leads outreach to high school and community college educators and media professionals, and she oversees the creation of resources for teaching about religion in a variety of contexts. She earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Boston University. She is the author of Saving History: How White Evangelicals Tour the Nation's Capital and Redeem a Christian America (University of North Carolina Press, 2020).

Morning session: Religious Literacy 101: Habits of Mind for Studying Religion
This session introduces core principles for studying religion as a complex, dynamic phenomenon that is interwoven with all aspects of society.

Afternoon session: Religious Literacy 201: Observing and Transforming the World

This session considers the "why" of religious literacy. What is the goal of teaching about religion in this way? How can it contribute to the formation of students as critical thinkers and compassionate neighbors?



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Dr. Henry Goldschmidt is a cultural anthropologist, community educator, interfaith organizer, and scholar of religion. He is the Director of Programs at the Interfaith Center of New York, where he develops interfaith dialogue and social action programs for religious and civic leaders, as well as religious diversity education programs for K-12 teachers and students, social workers, attorneys, and others. He is the founding director of the Religious Worlds of New York summer institute, which has trained K-12 teachers to teach about contemporary lived religion since 2012. Henry received his Ph.D. in anth­ropology from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2000, and taught religious studies and anthropology at Wesleyan University and elsewhere before coming to the Interfaith Center in 2010. He is the author of Race and Religion among the Chosen Peoples of Crown Heights, an ethnography of Black-Jewish difference in a contested Brooklyn neighborhood, as well as other scholarly and popular publications on American religious diversity and K-12 religious studies pedagogy. He is a life-long, fanatic New Yorker, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and child­ren.


From “World Religions” to “Lived Religion”: New Models for Teaching Religious Diversity


Most K-12 curricula for the study of religion are structured by the “world religions” pedagogic model, which introduces students to the essential facts, dates, and doctrines of major religious traditions, but arguably fails to convey the depth or complexity of everyday religious life.  In recent years, however, many scholars of religion have shifted toward a focus on “lived religion,” exploring how doctrines, rituals, and texts may shape -- and be shaped by -- the practical and political concerns of contemporary faith communities.  This seminar will introduce recent scholarship on lived religion, and explore the promise (and potential pitfalls) of K-12 lived religion pedagogies.



Learning from Your Neighbors’ Sacred Spaces: Leading Student Site Visits to Houses of Worship


One effective strategy for teaching about lived religion is through place-based, experiential education -- aka, “field trips” to diverse houses of worship.  This seminar will explore some of the pedagogical, practical, and ethical issues that teachers need to address in leading student site visits to houses of worship.  How, for example, do you build partnerships with local faith communities?  How do you structure student learning during site visits, while preserving the open-ended, inquiry-based pedagogy at the heart of experiential education? 


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Ali Altaf Mian, Ph.D. is the Izzat Hasan Sheikh Fellow in Islamic Studies and Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Dr. Mian's research areas include Islam in South Asia; the history of classical Islamic theology, mysticism, and legalism (especially the Hanafi Law School); Qur’anic studies; Hadith studies; gender and sexuality in contemporary Islam; religion and modernity (with particular emphasis on how religious traditions changed in and through European colonialism); as well as method and theory in the study of religion (particularly the invocation of psychoanalytical theory for interpreting religious ideas, rituals, and institutions). 

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Dr. Jonathan Gold, Associate Professor in the Department of Religion and Director of the Program in South Asian Studies at Princeton University, presenting on Buddhism. More information coming soon.

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“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 




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


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