Coexist: Cultural Literacy for Religion – Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know. Sundays starting January 20th, from 3-5 pm.
Religious belief has been innate to humans everywhere and in every age, from the time of the Neanderthals to the 21st century. It’s also one of the strongest motivators of human behavior and has a profound impact on all aspects of our culture—our spiritual beliefs, our rituals, our politics, and the very foundations of our democracy.
Unfortunately, the majority of Americans fail basic tests about religion, including their own faith, according to polls conducted by Gallup and the Pew Research Forum. This is troublesome because religious literacy is about so much more than naming deities or knowing the stories of ancient history. A basic understanding of religion is crucial in today’s increasingly connected world.
For many of us, religion is a powerful cultural identifier and impacts our everyday expression of ourselves. Religious literacy—the knowledge of basic teachings, symbols, practices, founders, institutions, and values of the world’s religious traditions—can shed new light on the world around us and knock down the boundaries between us, making us better neighbors and better citizens.
This 6-week class will explore the following topics: Judaism—God, Torah, and Covenant; Varieties of Jewish Thought and Practice; Living a Jewish Life; The Life and Commemoration of Jesus; Catholic and Orthodox Christianity; Protestantism and Christianity Today; Muhammad, Qur’an, and Islamic Civilization; Unity in Islam—The Five Pillars; Forms of Islam—Diversity among Muslims; Jains, Sikhs, and Baha’is; Religion and Law in America; Religion Today—Trends, Challenges, and Hope. No class on Feb 17.