Thanks to a generous donation from Bruce McEver, M.T.S. ’11, Harvard Divinity School (HDS) announces a new initiative, the Religious Literacy Project (RLP), which will enable HDS to continue our nearly four decades of leadership in religious studies and education in the United States.
As a successor to the Program in Religious Studies and Education, the RLP will be a virtual resource and research center housed at the Center for the Study of World Religions. Its primary aim will be to create and maintain scholarly resources in the general study of religion and in specific religious traditions via an open access website designed primarily for public school teachers and their students.
The initial resources will be created to supplement and enhance commonly used textbooks that introduce religion at the middle and secondary levels in world history and world civilizations courses. Other resources will be developed to supplement and enhance English and world literature courses, highlighting commonly taught texts with significant religious themes or dimensions.
A third set of resources will focus on teaching sacred texts, including, but not limited to, the Bible. A fourth will be case studies of significant historical events involving religious issues, and a fifth will provide resources for educators to understand and teach about contemporary issues related to religion.
In addition to the content resources outlined above, the RLP will also generate and publicize relevant research regarding religion and education, with a special emphasis on the relationship between literacy about religion and civic and moral education in a global world.