Videochats Bridge Religious & Cultural Divide

voice of america

Use Face to Faith to help your students bridge cultural and religious divides. Using videochats, Face to Faith brings together students from different cutlures and religions to facilitate better understanding on a wide range of topics including religious freedom, human rights, and religious festivals.Voice of America recently visited my class during a videochat with a school in Indonesia. Their feature story explains how the videochats work. … [Read more...]

Online Gallery of Sacred Texts: British Library

Sacred texts

The British Library's Online Gallery of  Sacred Texts is a terrific resource for studying the major world religions.  The site includes a wealth of material, some of which can be esaily adapted for lessons.Here are a couple of features of the site that I particularly like.An interactive feature called "Sacred Stories" allows you to hear one or two major stories from each religion. For example, you can click on the Buddhist text and hear the story "The Elephant and the Blind Man" or the  " … [Read more...]

Did St. Thomas Found a Church in India?

st thomas

Did St. Thomas found a chuch in India? That's exactly what the India historian, William Dalrymple, suggests in this fascinating essay for The Guardian.According to the legend, St. Thomas came to Kerala in India in 52 CE. Stories say that he came "from Palestine by boat; that he had travelled down the Red Sea and across the Persian Gulf, and that he landed at the great Keralan port of Cranganore."And there, according to stories handed down from generation to generation, St. Thomas … [Read more...]

An Iraqi Jon Stewart


Iraqi Ahmed Albasheer fights corruption with comdey. After being kidknapped for 50 days, he decided that brodcasting from Jordan might be safer.BBC News posted the story last month. … [Read more...]

Christian Megachurches in Singapore


Did you, like me, think Christian megachurches were an American phenomenon? Joel Ostein's Lakewood Church in Texas has over 40,000 members, Andy Stanley's North Point Community Church in Georgia has just over 20,000 and Charles Blake's West Angeles Cathedral in California also has over 20,000 members.Asia now rivals North America with Christian megachurches. According to author Philip Jenkins, in an article for The Christian Century, Christianity has soared in Singapore, doubling since 1980 … [Read more...]

Sorcery & Magic in the Sahel


Studying indigenous African religions?In a beautiful essay for the New York Times, author Anna Badken travels to Djenne in the Sahel, the narrow band of semi-arid land south of the Sahara, to talk to a marabout, a kind of sorcerer and Muslim jurist. She wants him to make sure her friend in Texas can get pregnant using in-vitro fertilization.Sounds kind of strange. But Badken takes us into a world where magic has meaning. She says that might because the Sahel is so merciless. It is … [Read more...]

What is an Encyclical?


Pope Francis may release an encyclical on climate change tomorrow. But what is an encyclical?Porfessor Drew Christiansen explains in this short clip for The Religion Freedom Project at Georgetown University.The Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs "is the nation's only university-based program devoted exclusively to the analysis of religious freedom..."And they just joined Twitter. You can follow them … [Read more...]