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60 minutes
  • Religious Literacy
  • Educator

  • Identify problems with the term “world religions” and the idea of a “world religions paradigm.”
  • Reflect on approaches for addressing the ‘world religions paradigm” with students.

  • “In both historical and contemporary times, definitions of religion are often too narrow to cover all of those who, although not consciously belonging to any defined religious organization, are ‘religious’ in their daily lives.” (Yao, Xinzhong (2010). Chinese Religion: A Contextual Approach. London: A&C Black. p. 9.) Explore the interactive world map with this quote in mind. What other errors might stem from a framework of “world religions”?

  • How has this critique made you think differently about different categories of religion?
  • What are the challenges of trying to categorize and display religions in a form such as the map above?
  • How could you introduce or employ a critique of the world religions paradigm in your curriculum?

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