Date of Award
Doctor of Education
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of teachers of religion courses who use the study of religion to prepare students for the pluralistic society awaiting them. The primary questions addressed in this study were focused on perceptions of religious studies teachers regarding their definition of religious literacy, the content of a religiously literate person, the civic consequences of an education that ignores religious literacy, and how religious literacy might inculcate civic values. The participants of this study included five purposefully selected religious studies teachers from five different school types (i.e., Christian, Islamic, Jewish, nonsectarian, public). These participants were purposefully selected because their cases were information-rich and illuminative, that is, they offer useful manifestations of the phenomenon of interest; sampling, then, is aimed at insight about the phenomenon, not empirical generalizations from a sample to a population (Patton, 2015, p. 46). A qualitative case study method, utilizing semi-structured interviews, was employed to investigate four research questions: (1) How do religious studies teachers define religious literacy? (2) Why is religious literacy a necessary element in a students secondary education? (3) What are the civic consequences of a society without religious literacy? and (4) How can religious studies inculcate civic values? Three common themes were shared among the data provided by the participants: (1) Religiously literate students should be familiar, at least, with the three major religious traditions, i.e., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; (2) Religion can be a catalyst for evil as well as for good; and (3) Religious studies can inculcate civic values. These themes correspond with Protheros (2007) Religious Literacy, Moores (2007) Overcoming Religious Illiteracy, and Nords (2010) Does God Make a Difference, all of which are leading publications in the field of religious literacy.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest
Grant, John, "Religious Studies Teachers Perceptions of the Role of Religious Literacy in Students' Civic Preparation" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2558.