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Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance Hardcover – August 18, 2015
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“This book sheds light on the reality that people hide their religious background in a school environment at times out of fear. It may be of value for individuals who have experienced religious intolerance at school or for those linked to public schools by raising awareness for religious groups that may not yet have a voice.”
“This is an important and compelling book.”
—The Jewish Advocate
“Insightful and engaging, Faith Ed shows how education fights intolerance. This is an important book, with huge implications for public policy and stronger communities.”
—Jonathan Eig, author of The Birth of the Pill and Luckiest Man
“Faith Ed offers deep insights into the combustible issue of teaching religion in American schools. Linda K. Wertheimer combines her personal experience with vivid reporting to reveal the fault lines as well as a pathway to progress. At a time when religion and intolerance are at the heart of conflicts both global and local, this powerful book is required reading.”
—Mitchell Zuckoff, author of 13 Hours and Lost in Shangri-La
“Linda Wertheimer has given us a deeply reported, sobering look at the promise and taboos of teaching religion in our public schools. With a sharp eye and open mind, she brings to light the heroes of tolerance, the isolationists who choose safe harbors of ignorance, and the ongoing struggle over what it means to be an American.”
—Scott Helman, coauthor of Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City’s Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice
“Readers enjoy a front-row seat in the classroom with Linda Wertheimer's revealing book about teaching world religions in the public schools. This is essential reading for everyone concerned about building respect among young people for the diversity of religious faith in America.”
—Stephen D. Solomon, author of Ellery's Protest: How One Young Man Defied Tradition and Sparked the Battle over School Prayer
“In Faith Ed, an impassioned journalist takes her readers on a tour of timely topic: what it is like to teach the world’s religions in a climate of hostility and ignorance. The result is a heartfelt plea for open-mindedness and civility, in the classroom and beyond.”
—Madeleine Blais, author of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle
About the Author
Linda K. Wertheimer, a former Boston Globe education editor, is the award-winning author of Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance. During her nearly thirty-year journalism career, she was a reporter at the Dallas Morning News and the Orlando Sentinel as well as for other publications. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe Magazine, USA Today, Time, and many other publications. Faith Ed in 2016 won a national book award—second place in the Religion News Association nonfiction religion book contest. She has also won awards for her writing from the Education Writers Association and other organizations. She was a 2014 finalist in the Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowship awards. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she lives in the Boston area with her husband and son.
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What is particularly compelling about this book is that it is written by a practicing Jew, and her perspectives from childhood not only broke my heart, but made me realize what children who belong to minority religions must face daily.
The author of the book discusses the fact that as a child, and practicing Jew, she was often uncomfortable during classtime because, incredibly, they actually had Christians come in and talk about Jesus during class time. As a resident of a “liberal” state I was, quite frankly, completely shocked to hear about it. But, what was really shocking was the fact that this kind of thing still goes on in schools across the nation! And, local pastors are actually permitted to roam around talking to students about religion during lunch times and so forth. As a Christian, I was completely shocked and appalled by these practices. I am a Christian by choice now, but it’s not like children have a choice. You are raised how you are raised. We don’t get to “pick” our religion until we are adults and subjecting children to outright proselytizing is appalling and insulting. I can’t imagine if this sort of thing happened on the opposite side. In other words, imagine the outrage communities would experience if the local Imam showed up during lunchtime at your local school.
I highly recommend this book, particularly because it will open your eyes to faith discussions in the public. Just as an example, I had absolutely no idea that a Jew would be uncomfortable with the fact that Christians view them as “chosen” people and almost revere them. I was raised on this kind of rhetoric, and I was stunned that a Jew would find that view offensive and irritating.