2010 Institute on Teaching the World's Religions

Santa Fe, New Mexico
June 21 - June 26, 2010

Due to limited space, please contact CSEE to inquire about registration: (800) 298-4599.

Teachers of religions and history leave our institutes with increased knowledge, new ideas for what to do in the classroom, and great lists of both resources and contacts. This year's focus will be on Hinduism and Native American traditions.


This conference will begin at 5:30pm on June 21st, and end at noon on June 26th.

Schedule (tentative)


Monday, June 21

6:00 Dinner

6:45 Welcome and Introductions

7:15 -- 9:15 What We Teach, How We Teach: Key Issues for the Religion Classroom  (David Streight)

Tuesday, June 22

9:00 – 10:20 Hinduism 101 (and a few advanced issues) (Bridgette O’Brien)

10:50 – 12:00 Islamic Poetry for the Classroom (David Streight)

noon -- 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 4:00 Native American Cultures and Traditions (Ines Talamantez, Ph.D.) 


Wednesday, June 23

9:00 – 12:00 Adolescent Girls and Rites of Passage in Native American Traditions (Ines Talamantez)

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 Films and Resources for the World Religions Classroom (Streight)

2:00 – 4:30 Break

4:30 – 8:30 (w/ one-hour break for dinner) Hinduism and the Bhagavad Gita (David L. Haberman, Ph.D.)


Thursday, June 24

9:00 -- 12:00 Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads (David L. Haberman)

12:00 – evening        Participants have the afternoon and evening off to explore Santa Fe. Dinner is on your own.


Friday, June 25

9:00 – 3:00 Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads (David L. Haberman)


Saturday, June 26

8:45 – 10: 15 (topic TBA) (Bridgette O’Brien)

10: 15 – 11:15 Resource Sharing and closing of institute

11:15 – 11:45 Evaluations


Featured Presenters in June 2010

David Haberman, Ph.D.
Indiana University

Hinduism, the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita

In this two-day session, Dr. David Haberman will explore with participants the famous Hindu text the Bhagavad-Gita, as a way of teaching important aspects of Hinduism at the high school level. A careful reading of the Bhagavad-Gita is a good way to challenge and expand the somewhat limited representations of Hinduism still prevalent in many textbooks. Examination of the text will provide an opportunity for intertextual reading, connecting the Bhagavad-Gita to texts that precede it by some 1500 years (e.g., Vedas and Upanishads) and others that follow it into the present day (e.g., Gandhi). The Bhagavad Gita is a great way to broaden our understanding of the Vedantic teachings of Hinduism, which inform much in the later theistic traditions. During the workshop participants will explore such themes in the Bhagavad-Gita as: opening the existential dilemma, karma-yoga and its relationship to dharma, the threefold dimensions of reality, the value of this world, foundations of temple Hinduism with its focus on the worshipful interaction with embodied froms of divinity, and the question "Who/What is Krishna?" Participants might also see how the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita relate to contemporary issues, such as socail justice and environmental well-being.


Native American Cultures and Traditions
Dr. Talamantez's first session will focus on studying particular native American Cultures and traditions and their relationship with their particular environment, notions of the dynamics of language and landscape, religious narrative, and conservation practices in indigenous traditions.
Adolescent Girls and Rites of Passage
In her second presentation, Dr. Talamantez, using slides and music, will focus on puberty ceremonies in Apache and Navajo culture. These rites of passage may serve as a template for adolescent girls in mainstream society.


Bridgette O'Brien
Hinduism 101 and Beyond
This session will offer the "must know" basics to those who are relative beginners in Hinduism, in preparation for David Haberman's later work with us, but will also address aspects of Hinduism often unknown to more experienced teachers, and activities for the classroom that all can use.

David Streight
Teaching Islamic Poetry
This presentation will offer suggestions of texts can be used in the Islam section of the world religions course. The pieces offered are selected because they are "favorite" classical texts by well known authors like Rumi and Hafiz, and short enough that they can be used in a unit that does not have unlimited time.


Approaches to Teaching Religion
Three issues will be addressed in this block of time, both emerging from recommendations by CSEE's experienced teachers consortium and CSEE's 2009 Institute. The first entails the mindset of the teacher that guides his or her way of presenting religious traditions: are other traditions looked at as inferior to one's own tradition? are religions presented as if they were static entities with set beliefs and practices unchanged by time? are all religions equal in all ways? How are religions affected by historical and political events? Etc. The second entails teaching religions through themes, such as pilgrimage, love, or art. And the third addresses ten issues that all teachers should consider as they prepare their syllabi. Participants are expected to finish the presentation with new thoughts about exciting new possibilities.


CSEE has returned to the Ghost Ranch in Santa Fe several times, as the food is terrific and the location magical. Ghost Ranch is located 3 blocks from the historic Santa Fe Plaza, with many galleries, historic sights, and museums within walking distance. Meals and accommodation are included in the price of registration. Participants will have one afternoon and evening off to explore Santa Fe, and will be on their own for dinner that evening. Participants have the option of sharing a double-occupancy room with two twin beds (will be matched by gender), or reserving a private room for $200 more for the week.

Travel to Ghost Ranch

CSEE recommends flying into Albuquerque Airport and taking a shuttle or train to Ghost Ranch.

Shuttle Service: The Sandia Shuttle Xpress provides door-to-door service (888.775.5696)

Train Service: The Rail Runner Express runs frequently between Albuquerque and Santa Fe (aprox. $8), and The Santa Fe Pick-Up Shuttle will take you from the train stop in Santa Fe to Ghost Ranch (free service).

Thanks to you for an amazing conference! As I mentioned, one of the very best I have attended. I cannot really fully express how much I appreciate all you do to provide such a wonderful learning and fellowship experience.

-Anne Morris, Duchesne Academy, 2009 participant