Sunday, December 4, 2016

Religion in the classroom as modeled by King's "Letter From Birmingham Jail": we don't have to believe it to get it.

Title:  Religion in the classroom as modeled by King's "Letter From Birmingham Jail": we don't have to believe it to get it.

Source:  Journal of African Children's and Youth Literature


Key Points:  Teaching the Bible is not only interesting, but a legitimate way to engage students by introducing them to the beliefs and stories of generations of people.  Religion may not belong in our classrooms, but the perspectives of presently one-third of the world's population and how over thousands of years they have turned to the Bible for instruction is something we should not deny our students.

Intended Audience: politicians, administrators, teachers, parents, students.

Relevance: This is relevant since many believe excluding religion must also mean banning the Bible from our classrooms.  They are not necessarily one in the same.


  1. Interesting post David. Religion and school always becomes a good topic to discuss. Religion is a large part of society, but is left out of our public schools. I believe there is a lot of history tied to religion and the Bible, as referenced in the article and the tie Dr. King. I think incorporating the Bible could potentially cause some problems, because of the man different religions. I imagine there would be a lot disagreement about which Bibles to use and if you use all of them, how would it be regulated. However, I think reviewing the history of religion and how it has impacted different countries, leaders, etc. would be a great to study.

  2. My thoughts immediately went to the idea of world religions courses. It seems to me to very appropriate to teach our students about the history of religions as well as their similarities and differences. Part of our current troubles globally is that we do not understand what the "other" believes. I think that this issue gets far more messy if we suggest that we teach from the bible rather than about the bible. Clearly, nearly every religion and philosophy has stumbled onto the same basic "golden rule" and pointing this simple fact out seems like a good idea.

  3. I find it interesting the article believes the Bible should be taught in schools. I do believe it could be engaging for students, but you also have to take other religious literature into account. I went to a private Catholic middle school and we had religious education. However, we did not just study the bible. We studied many of the world’s religions and their literature…Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the list goes on. I am all for teaching about the bible and its lessons, but we need to also introduce the other religions as well.