Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Teaching World Religions

Teaching World Religions

Date : Sat., April 28, 2001 to Sun., April 29, 2001 Category : Butcher History Institute

Demand for teaching world religions is growing in high schools and colleges.  Young Americans, themselves often religious, are curious about their own and other faiths, while growing numbers of schools include students of many faiths.  Coexistence and mutual understanding require that the topic of religion be drawn into classroom discussion.  Moreover, religion’s importance to history, literature, political philosophy and other disciplines make it an essential part of the curriculum.  The question then becomes how to define what religion is and how it can be taught without becoming theology or anti-theology.  FPRI’s Marvin Wachman Fund for International Education is pleased to announce a weekend-long history institute on “Teaching World Religions,” featuring a series of lectures by leading scholars in several fields.  This program is specially designed for secondary school teachers, curriculum supervisors, and junior college faculty.

Teaching World Religions Conference Summary by William Anthony Hay


Topics and Speakers

Welcoming Remarks

04/28/2001 - 12:50 PM to 1:00 PM
Alan Luxenberg

Director - Wachman Center for Civic and International Literacy

Keynote Address: What Is Religion and Can It Be Taught?

04/28/2001 - 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM
Paul Griffiths

Professor of Catholic Studies, University of Illinois


04/28/2001 - 2:30 PM to 3:45 PM
Guy Welbon

Assoc. Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania


04/28/2001 - 4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
E. Ann Matter

Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Dinner Address: Teaching Religion in a Culture of Disbelief

04/28/2001 - 7:30 PM
Warren A. Nord

Director of Program in the Humanities and Human Values, University of North Carolina


04/28/2001 - 8:30 AM to 9:15 AM
Abdulaziz Sachedina

Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Virginia


04/28/2001 - 9:15 AM to 10:15 AM
William LaFleur

Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Pennsylvania


04/28/2001 - 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Peter Ochs

Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

Panel Discussion: Defining and Teaching World Religions

04/28/2001 - 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM
Warren A. Nord

Director of Program in Humanities and Human Values, University of North Carolina

James Kurth

Senior Fellow

Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College

Paul Dickler

Senior Fellow - Wachman Center for Civic and International Literacy

Neshaminy High School

David Gress

Senior Fellow

Professor of Classics, University of Aarhus

William Anthony Hay

Executive Director - Center for the Study of America and the West



Gregg Conference Center

270 S. Bryn Mawr Ave.
PA Bryn Mawr 19010

Registration links

Register Deadline

What Participants Receive:

Social studies and history teachers, curriculum supervisors and junior college faculty are invited to apply for participation in the History Institute.  Forty participants will be selected to receive:

*     free room and board

*     assistance in designing curriculum and special projects based on the  History Institute

*     stipends of $200 in exchange for curriculum units based on the History Institute, plus a representative selection of student work

*     partial travel scholarships available for participants outside the East Coast

*     free copy of Faith and Statecraft, a special issue of Orbis, FPRI’s journal of world affairs