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Harvard EdCast: Faith Ed.

By Jill Anderson on October 4, 2017 1:08 PM
Linda K. Wertheimer, author of "Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance," looks at the challenges faced by public schools when incorporating lessons about world religions into their classrooms.

Faith Ed.In these divided times in which Islamophobia and the bullying of Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu students are on the rise, how has it affected conversations around the teaching of religion in schools? Things are certainly more heated, says Linda K. Wertheimer, "It makes the atmosphere a lot more tense when you are teaching about the world's religions."

Wertheimer's recent book, Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance, explores the challenges faced by public schools when incorporating lessons about world religions into their classrooms, looking at specific examples in several areas of the country. Despite a climate that may seem more ripe for controversy, Wertheimer does not see the teaching of world religions as something that will stop, or even taper off.

"If anything, when things get more heated, there is more attention," says Wertheimer. "But at the same time I don't feel schools — yet — are backing off. Teachers may be more nervous, but it's part of state standards in nearly every state in the country."

In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Wertheimer looks at some of the issues that have arisen for schools and shares her thoughts on why incorporating lessons on religion into curricula is so important.

Linda Wertheimer will be speaking about her book at the Gutman Library Distinguished Author Series on Tuesday, October 10 at noon.

About the Harvard EdCast

The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber and co-produced by Jill Anderson, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.