Re: Should religious texts be taught in schools?

In my Introduction to World Religions course I give a pretest. I simply list those covered in the text and ask students to write one statement of fact about each religion. Even about their own religion students are often mistaken and about most traditions they are entirely ignorant or have a woefully distorted impression. Surely the texts should be studied.

But not all religious traditions are textual and many which have texts are much more than their texts, so the question needs to be modified. It needs to ask whether the non-verbal texts of ritual and life practice should be studied as well.

Furthermore there needs to be clarification about the scope of teaching about religions. If "religio" means a "binding together" then not only "two-story" religions need to be examined but also religions such as communism, nationalism, capitalism and atheism need to be studied for what they are both in their texts and their practice.

Finally, our increasing diversity demands such study.

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