Resources for Religion & Education Scholars and Educators
Find resources and opportunities to support your work in religion and education
Several REC members presented at and attended the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting in San Antonio (and virtually) a few weeks ago. We can’t recap the whole event here, but wanted to share a few of the recommended resources that members learned about during various conference sessions. Resources to Check Out: Religion & American Culture Teaching Resources — Search for syllabi, teaching modules, videos, reading lists and more in this extensive repository from the Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture at IUPUI. Popular Cultural and Theology Series — Find articles and more on the connections between religion and theology to popular culture and comics. Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion — Hosts a peer-reviewed journal, digital archive of material objects connected to religious practices, and a Digital Spaces Project, “documenting sacred spaces via 360º panorama (360s) and high resolution giga-pixel (Zooms) photography.” Reacting to the Past — Interactive, role-playing classroom games for higher education designed for inquiry, engagement with big ideas, and challenging historical issues and situations. Detroit Muslim Storytelling Project — An oral history initiative begun in 2020 to “build and disseminate knowledge about the history and scope of African-American Muslim community leadership in Detroit.” Muslims in Brooklyn — “a three-year, multi-faceted public history project designed to amplify the stories of Brooklyn’s Muslim communities and contextualize those stories in the broader history of the borough, the city, and beyond.” Because the REC represents many different fields and professional organizations, we try to bridge the gaps between these groups by sharing resources and insights with the wider religion and education community.
This fall we have been celebrating five years of the Religion & Education Collaborative. Even as I sent out surveys asking for member reflections and looked back at the records of past presentations and events, I’m amazed at what this group has done and how it has grown over this time. I wanted to share a little bit about the origins and development of the REC as we also look ahead to what comes next. I’ll break this up into a couple of installments over the coming weeks. Beginnings The idea for this group came out of a long Sunday morning conversation at AERA in 2016. A small group of people had all attended an early roundtable session on “Religious Diversity in Higher Education,” and we stayed at the table talking long after the official time had finished. It was one of those rare times when everyone in the conversation was already convinced of the importance of studying religion and education, and we could relate to the challenges of trying to navigate this particular intersection of disciplines and questions. At the time, I was finishing the second year in my doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction and feeling somewhat isolated and disconnected. Without any classmates or faculty in my department with similar research interests, it was hard to gain momentum and build a network. As many can relate to, graduate school can be lonely and discouraging at times and having very few opportunities to connect to students or mentors with similar interests can make it even more challenging. These types of meetings at conferences were great and always reignited my interest in these topics, but it seemed like we should be to be able to have these conversations more than once or twice a year. After AERA and a long brainstorming talk with Nate Walker, we decided to try an experiment and see if we could gather a group of scholars who might be interested in having these conversations more often. What if we met online on a regular basis to share our work, get feedback, and support each other? So, we put together a list of a couple dozen people we knew in the field and sent around an email to see if anyone else might be interested in some virtual meetings (long before Zoom was a ubiquitous feature of everyday life and all meetings were virtual). April 25, 2016 Dear Friend, You are invited to join the inaugural virtual meeting of the Religion & Education Working Group. This group is comprised of graduate students and early career scholars who are doing work related to religion and education. From a series of conversations at recent conferences, we have noted the need for a stronger network of people working and studying in this field. What: The initial meeting will be a video conference which will give us a chance to get acquainted as a group, hear about each other’s work, and discuss the needs and next steps for this network. The