2020 Bennion Teachers' Workshop - Religion and American Democracy:
Literacy, Liberty, and the Public Good
Date: Monday, June 22 - Friday, June 26, 2020
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily; and some additional evening events
Place: University Inn - Room 507, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
Directors: Dr. Patrick Q. Mason, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and History, USU
Endowed By: Ione Spencer Bennion
Through interactive sessions and visits to religious sites, participants will gain understandings of
- Religious diversity in the Intermountain West,
- The importance of religious literacy for local and global citizenship,
- Pedagogical tools for teaching about religion vs. teaching religion,
- How to have hard conversation about contentious topics,
- How religious communities contribute to American civil society.
In a religiously diverse and vibrant society such as the United States, and especially in the Mountain West where religion plays such a major role in our history and contemporary culture and politics, religious literacy becomes a key component of good citizenship.
Prominent religious scholars will explore the concept of religious literacy, argue for why it matters for good citizenship in our American democracy, and offer strategies for increasing religious literacy amoung studnets and the general public.
Discussions of religious liberty will be conducted by experts who will lead sessions that focus on the concept of "Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?" and "Who's Afraid of Religious Liberty?"
- Monday: Religion in America: A Brief History Why Religious Literacy Matters.
Evening: Keynote Address - Free and Open to the Public at 7:00 p.m.: Eccles Conference Center, Auditorium - Utah State University.
- Tuesday: World Religions 101 - Teaching about Religion without Reaching Religion.
Evening: World Religions Feast.
- Wednesday: Field Trip! Site Visit to Houses of Worship.
- Thursday: Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? Teaching the First Amendment. Who's Afraid of Religious Liberty?
- Friday: Religion and Democracy in Comparative Perspective. Religious Contributions to Civil Society.
Workshop Location, Meals, Lodging, Parking
Location: The workshop will be in the conference room located in the University Inn - Room 507.
Time: A continental breakfast will be available each day beginning at 8:30 a.m. The workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, with additional evening events (see Daily Highlights).
Meals: Continental breakfasts, lunches, and the evening events included as part of enrollment in the workshop. There are many dining options available close by in Logan for your evening meals.
Lodging: Accomodation options include:
- Reservations at the University Inn on USU Campus may be made prior to June 8th at the Bennion Teachers' Workshop rate.
- Several hotels are available in Logan. For a list please email email@example.com.
Parking: If you are driving to campus each day, you may purchase a week-long parking pass (see instructions) for one of the "black" lots near the University Inn (see map) for $30.00 for the entire week. Daily parking is also available in the Big Blue Terrace or the Aggie Terrace for $2.00 per hour or $10.00 for the entire day.
Course Requirements, Registration and Scholarships