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Products for grant AC-50213-14

The California Pluralism Project: A Digital Humanities Archive for Civility and Citizenship Education
Vincent Biondo, CSU, Fresno

Grant details: (Web Resource)
Year: 2015
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Religious Literacy in a Plural Age (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: Religious Literacy in a Plural Age
Author: Vincent Biondo
Abstract: Has religious literacy become a necessary component of citizenship? In England and Quebec, the state school curricula have been revised to include religious literacy. Do these programs share successful strategies that can succeed in the U.S.? Faculty experts and doctoral students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds will present on how to improve religious literacy education across ethnic, religious, and partisan lines.
Date Range: July 9, 2016
Location: Harvard University
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“Islam and Religious Literacy Education in the Americas” (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: “Islam and Religious Literacy Education in the Americas”
Author: Vincent F. Biondo, III
Abstract: As part of two government grant projects, surveys of California world history teachers in 2002 and 2015 found that teachers skip the mandatory units on Islam. As an undergraduate in 1995 it was obvious to me that Islam is important in the world and in the U.S., while it remains a low priority in our education system. Scholars in the AAR such as Fred Denny, Michael Sells, and John Esposito have published excellent introductory texts that do not filter down to the training of history teachers. There is a demonstrated need as evidenced by Pew Forum findings that prejudice against Islam is steady or increasing and the rate of hate crimes has not dropped back to pre-9-11 levels. Since 2009 faculty in the U.S. are encountering students with lower real wages and rising expenses alongside cultural obstacles of underprepared students. In addition, scholars of Islam find themselves working in an increasingly politicized environment. There is ideological pressure to join neo-imperial or post-colonial camps or to promote neoliberal or religious nationalist worldviews. This chapter presents the three leading efforts in the Americas to move beyond these binaries. Leaders in Montreal, Quebec, Bogota, Colombia, and Boston, Massachusetts (Programme Éthique et culture religieuse, Programa de Competencias Ciudadanas, and Harvard Religious Literacy Project, respectively) have identified that in the 21st century religious literacy is an essential part of citizenship education. One no longer needs to fly to Ankara, Turkey, like Annemarie Schimmel in 1954, to learn about Muslim cultures. Muslims are already our neighbors, co-workers, and classmates. Democracy and civil society may require Humanities scholars to unify in support of effective religious literacy education.
Date: 07/12/18
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Primary URL Description: Summer Institute for Scholars International Institute of Islamic Thought Herndon, Virginia USA
Conference Name: Summer Institute for Scholars