HDS 3300: Religious Literacy and the Professions





Professor: Diane Moore

T, Th - 10:30 am to 11:45 am

Religions have functioned throughout human history to inspire and justify the full range of human agency from the heinous to the heroic. Their influences remain potent here in the 21st century in spite of modern predictions that religious influences would steadily decline in concert with the rise of secular democracies and advances in science. Professionals in a wide range of fields need to understand these complex religious influences in order to understand modern human affairs across the full spectrum of endeavors in local, national, and global arenas. In this course, we will focus on religious literacy in the professions of journalism, media and entertainment, government, humanitarian action, education, and organizing. How can a nuanced and complex understanding of religion enhance the ability of professionals in these fields to serve their populations? Students will learn a critical theory method for comprehending the ways that religions shape, and are shaped by, different social, cultural, and political contexts and will apply that method to case studies in diverse professional sectors. As a way to ground their explorations, students will each choose one of the professions outlined above and one of the following issues to focus upon: racial justice, climate change, immigration, or Native and Indigenous rights. For example, a student may wish to focus on the profession of journalism and the issue of climate change, or the profession of organizing and the issue of immigration, etc. See this link for a list of the Religion and Public Life Fellows who will serve as co-instructors, each leading their own section. This course is open to all but required for those pursuing a Certificate in Religion and Public Life. Course must be taken for a letter grade if pursuing the certificate. In addition to the 75 minute Tuesday and Thursday class meetings, all students will be required to participate in a weekly section meeting from 4-5 on Thursdays.

Class Notes:

Course has additional section hour to be arranged.