About George G. Coe

Hajj Explained in 6 Minutes


Here's a six minute review of the rites of the hajj. It's from a non-profit organization called AlMaghrib which works to popularize Islamic education. The Huffington Post has a story about the organization and video here. … [Read more...]

Presidents: What Religion? Most Common Faiths?

epsiscopal church

What are the two most common faiths of American presidents?Eleven were Episcopalian.  Those presidents included  George Washington, James Madison,  James Monroe.  William Henry Harrison,  John Tyler,  Zachary Taylor,  Franklin Pierce,  Chester A. Arthur,  Franklin D. Roosevelt,  Gerald Ford, and  George H. W. Bush. The second most common faith,  according to this story in the Dseseret News, was Presbyterianism.  Eight presidents were Presbyterian and include: Ronald Reagan, Andrew Jackson … [Read more...]

Maps: Importance of Religion Around the World

religion aroudn teh world

Gallup posted this map showing the importance of religion around the world.  The poorer countries--South America and Africa--tend to be the most religious.You can see more specific maps about the importance of religion here at The Independent.  … [Read more...]

Muslim Woman Defies Nazis in WWII France

nazis image

Here's a riveting story about a Muslim woman who defied the Nazis in 1940 and  paid for it with her life.Noor Inayat Khan, a French Muslim, fled to England in 1940 when the Germans occupied Paris. There, she joined Churchill's Special Operations Executive (SOE)as a wireless operator.Her work supported the French underground. It was very dangerous because Germans often tracked their signals.  Telegraphers, like Khan, did not survive longer than six weeks. She was murdered in Dachau in 1 … [Read more...]

Introduce Myths with Luke Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi

the magic of  myth

Star Wars provides a great introduction to the study of myths. It has some of the classic elements of the hero myth.Here's how I used the saga with my  religion students.First, I asked them to create a ten panel story board of the Star Wars saga in groups of three or four. After about thirty minutes, I asked some groups  to present their story boards to the class. After the presentations, I explained that the Star Wars story is based on elements of the classic hero's myth. I  handed out c … [Read more...]

The Hindu Pantheon: Awesome Image

Hindu trinity

Here's a terrific image of the Hindu pantheon. Educator James Sturtevant found it in the middle of a 1955 Life Magazine that his mother gave to him. You can read  more about its provenance from Sturtevant's blog here.And if you click on the image, you can get a larger view. It's really cool! … [Read more...]

The Cyrus Cylinder: Symbol of Religious Tolerance

cyrus cylindar

  British Museum director, Neil MacGregor, argues that the the Babylonian cylinder, discovered in 1879, stands with the American Constitution and the Magna Carta as one of the great documents of religious tolerance.   In this twenty minute Ted Talk, MacGregor relates the story of the cylinder.  Written in Akkadian script, it says that after Cyrus conquered most of the Middle East, he released the Jews and all the other people  in captivity and allowed them to return to their cou … [Read more...]