Racialized anti-Muslim bigotry is not just a Muslim problem. This form of hate impacts Sikh Americans and Americans of other faiths or no religious affiliation who appear to be Muslim. America is home to numerous cultural and ethnic groups harmed by this and other forms of bigotry. And with over 350,000 religious congregations in the United States, faith communities, too, form pillars of social infrastructure. As influential centers of community gathering and mobilization, religious and cultural organizations present an opportunity for public officials to engage with constituents they may not otherwise be able to reach.
In this course, you will develop your religious and cultural literacy skills by mapping the evolving religious and cultural landscape of the United States and your local community. In particular, you will use a three-part framework focused on Belief, Behavior, and Belonging to investigate the diversity of beliefs and practices within religious and cultural communities.
Equipped with foundational knowledge in your local community’s religious and cultural landscape, you will learn how to apply legal frameworks for engaging with religion in the public sphere to inform your civic efforts.
- Map the landscape of religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity in your city, state, or county, including the institutional structure of local religious and cultural communities.
- Explain the variety of traditions within and across religious communities, how they (historically and currently) relate to each other, and the various ways that diverse traditions influence local and global communities, cultures, and hierarchies.
- Identify credible sources of information when faced with religious and cultural practice questions or observance, including holidays of local religious, cultural, and ethnic communities.
- Understand the religious liberty clauses of the First Amendment.