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Many young people first encounter religious difference in the classroom, uniquely positioning teachers to foster a culture of religious equity and inclusion that benefits students, fellow educators, and families. Whether part of a history lesson, in literature being discussed, or simply embodied in each student and staff member, religion is always present in our schools. 

ICJS Teacher Fellows work together to transform classrooms and schools into places where learning about religious diversity serves to inspire and prepare individuals for fuller participation in the life of our city, nation, and world.

Thursday, May 20, we invite you to join current and former ICJS Teacher Fellows—from  public, private, and religious schools—as we explore together three big questions:

  • How is the classroom an interreligious space?
  • What is the state of religion in the classroom?
  • How do young people think about religion?
Teachers Talk Religion text with pictures of ICJS Teacher Fellows on background of school hallway

Religion in the Public Square: Teachers Talk Religion

Thursday, May 20, 2021
4:00-5:00 p.m.


The Soul Unfolding

by Sean Flanigan, ICJS Teacher Fellow and English Teacher at Loyola Blakefield

"Instead of being awed by the majesty of virgin births, water walking, or the alchemy of oenology, I found the whole thing childish and corny. And although I would go on to attend Catholic High School, the Sisters of Christian Charity (though kind and gentle) did little to close the widening gap between my burgeoning sense of ethical humanism and the cartoon logic of organized religion. Then I went to Loyola College, met The Jesuits, and began to study English Literature in earnest..."  Read more...

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Film Discussion on the Life and Legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

A Discussion on the Life & Legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

In anticipation of the release of the first full-length documentary about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, ICJS hosted a discussion with two experts who appear in the film: ICJS Jewish Scholar Benjamin Sax and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and ICJS Emeritus Trustee Taylor Branch.

Read more/view video...


illustration of people doing various activities like working and shopping on different days of the week in calendar boxes, with Saturday set aside for worship as designated by pew and different lighting

What We’ve Lost in Rejecting the Sabbath

"Rabbi Ari Lamm argues that despite the growing concern about the state of religion in the U.S., religious leaders should be optimistic and focus on creative types of outreach that aren’t tied to bricks-and-mortar communities....The pandemic provided strong reasons for many people to choose religion given the increased need for spiritual comfort in a world of isolation and fear."

Read more from
The Wall Street Journal

Justin Chang greets Julie Kim at Christ Central Presbyterian Church on Sunday in Centreville, Va. With vaccinations, the church is seeing more people returning to weekly services. Sunday was Chang’s first day back to the church building. (Michelle Boorstein/The Washington Post)

Americans Return to In-person Church with Emotion—and Uncertainty About the Future of Worship

"According to the Pew Research Center, about 45 percent of Americans attended worship services at least monthly before the pandemic. For those who seek in-person worship, vaccinations and loosened legal restrictions are bringing them back to a place that can’t be replicated."

Read more from
The Washington Post

During the second Ramadan of the pandemic, community groups, like this one in Cairo, are serving iftars to-go. Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa via Getty Images

How Muslims Are Rethinking the Future of Ramadan

"A year after Muslim community leaders and volunteers scrambled to create a sense of togetherness in the midst of the first lockdowns in the U.S., thousands of Muslims are reviving traditional Ramadan customs with pandemic-safe initiatives. These range from socially distant community service projects to drive-thru iftars served in to-go boxes."

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