Linda K. Wertheimer, author of the new book Faith Ed.: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance, praised Religious Studies Prof. Mark Chancey

KERA, Think Originally Posted: August 20, 2015 Teaching Without Preaching Public schools aren’t allowed to encourage students to pursue religion. Yet so much of navigating a diverse world requires an understanding of other people’s beliefs. This hour, we’ll talk about how to prepare students without proselytizing with Linda K. Wertheimer, author of Faith Ed.: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance (Beacon Press). LISTEN

By | 2015-08-26T08:14:42-07:00 August 26th, 2015|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Religious Studies|Comments Off on Linda K. Wertheimer, author of the new book Faith Ed.: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance, praised Religious Studies Prof. Mark Chancey

The Source: Texas’ State Board Of Education And Textbooks

Texas Public Radio Originally Posted: July 2, 2015 Many problems still exist in how Texas adopts its school textbooks say critics. Reforming the process failed to gain traction in the state's 84th legislative session. The troubles have been well documented by Texas journalists over the past 10 years and even some documentarians got in on the action. The process has produced textbooks that some say distort history, conflate and portray religions inaccurately. Schools have not been required to use the State Board of Education (SBOE) approved books for the past few years, but recently the SBOE requested a legal opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, that many view as another grab at controlling local school districts content. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed newly elected district [...]

By | 2015-07-14T08:01:26-07:00 July 3rd, 2015|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Religious Studies|Comments Off on The Source: Texas’ State Board Of Education And Textbooks

Holy Words in Hollywood: The Ten Commandments and American Identity

Event date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Event time: 7:30pm Location: McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall Dr. Adele Reinhartz is Professor in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa     The epic Bible films of the 1950s used the Hebrew Bible much as the Puritans did in an earlier era: as a prophecy of America’s role on the world stage. This lecture, illustrated by movie clips, will focus on Cecil B. DeMille’s classic 1956 film The Ten Commandments and its portrayal of Moses as a Jesus-like redeemer who champions liberty and democracy, American-style. For more information:

New courses help students shape ethical dialogue in variety of fields

DALLAS (SMU) – Nine new courses to be taught at SMU beginning this fall aim to address real-world ethical challenges from the political science realm to the video game industry. With $128,000 in grants from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, many of the 25 faculty members who developed the courses or have sponsored ethics-focused research grants gathered March 19-22 in Taos for a ethics course development and writing workshop. “We have long felt that professors are among the most influential people in a student’s college life. If their professors write about, talk about and teach ethics, students will see ethics as important and worthy of attention,” says Maguire Center Director Rita Kirk. The grants are part of a half-million dollar, [...]

Professor Matthew Wilson on Texas Faith: Is it ever justified to use torture as an instrument of American policy in a dangerous world?

Dallas Morning News, Texas Faith Blog Originally Posted: December 18, 2014 By Wayne Slater A new Senate report has rekindled the debate over enhanced interrogation, or torture – an issue of profound political, social and moral implications. We know the context: enhanced interrogation was a desperate attempt to prevent another 9-11. It worked or didn’t. It was used sparingly or wasn’t. In retrospect, some religious voices make a clear case that torture is immoral and should never be used. Others say that even if immoral in full or in part, the 39 captives subjected to it should be viewed against the larger evil of 3,000 people killed on 9-11. . . What does your faith say about enhanced interrogation – about torture – as an [...]

Department of Religious Studies hosts a lecture on Muslims and Jews in Christian America

Dallas Morning News By TAYLOR DANSER Neighborsgo Published: 23 October 2014 08:25 AM Religious historian Charles L. Cohen will lecture on Jews and Muslims in Christian America at 4 p.m. Thursday in Room 100 of Southern Methodist University’s Hyer Hall. Cohen is the E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions and director of the Lubar Institute for the study of Abrahamic Religions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information call Richard Cogley at 214-768-2099.

Social Studies Revised

THINK, KERA. Originally posted: October 6, 2014 Texas is considering new social studies textbooks for public school students for the first time since 2002. This hour, we’ll talk about questions that have arisen about how they teach culture and religion with a pair of SMU professors who testified about the books before the State Board of Education – Kathleen Wellman of the history department and David Brockman, who teaches religious studies. LISTEN

Matthew Wilson, Dedman College professor, should the government say whether churches can preach politics from the pulpit?

READ FULL BLOG POST HERE MATTHEW WILSON, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Southern Methodist University The limitation on political activity by religious organizations is both misguided and unenforceable in any coherent, consistent way, and should thus be repealed. Many of the fundamental concerns of any religious group — war and peace, human rights, marriage and family policy, economic justice — are inextricably linked with politics. To pretend otherwise reduces religion to an anemic, privatized shell of itself, unable to speak to the major moral questions of the day. There are critical aspects of religion that are deeply personal and transcendent, and that have nothing to do with politics. These exist side-by-side, however, with concerns about social justice, public virtue, and the common good that are [...]

Houston Chronicle: Bible courses a mixed bag in school

A new report by SMU religious studies expert Mark A. Chancey has received widespread coverage by the media. The report by Chancey, “Reading, Writing & Religion II,” found that most of the 60 public school districts in Texas that offer Bible study courses aren’t meeting a 2007 state law mandating that the courses be fair as well as academically and legally sound. On March 9 the Houston Chronicle published a piece by Chancey about the research study. READ MORE

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