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yocumdeb
05-23-2013, 01:10 AM
Next year my oldest will be officially a 9th grader. I am working on her curriculum now because it seems like it will all be very custom. It just tends to be that way with her. She wants to sort of design her own history/geography/culture curriculum based on the religions of the world. She plans to compare and contrast the various beliefs as well as analyze the impact those various beliefs have had on creating the world we live in today. We have a number of books that cover the basics of most major and some lesser known religions--books by DK and Usborne and such. What I am looking for are good books that go a little more in depth on each of the different religions--Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, as well as various Pagan religions. She is fascinated with Wicca at the moment. She is an excellent reader and very mature for her age. However, I am having difficulty finding books that are more than children's books but not overly heavy theological texts. I'm also trying to avoid the books that have a "why my religion is the only true religion and all the rest of you are going to hell" type focus. There are a lot of those out there!

If you can recommend any titles to us, that would be appreciated. Thanks!

inmom
05-23-2013, 08:53 AM
My kids just finished studying comparative religion, and our spine was Great Courses DVDs. These might be a bit dry for your daughter, though. However, here are some books and videos that were useful. (The videos were from netflix and I purchased the books rather inexpensively through Abebooks.com.)

Supplementary Books:



World Religions by John Bowker
Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction by Kim Knott
The Case for God by Karen Armstrong
Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction by Damien Keown
Buddha by Karen Armstrong
Islam: A Very Short Introduction by Malise Ruthven
Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong
Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong
Judaism: A Very Short Introduction by Norman Solomon
Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible by David Plotz


Supplementary Videos:



The Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha – PBS documentary
Inside Mecca – National Geographic documentary

inmom
05-23-2013, 10:02 AM
Also, for a quick reference comparing religions, the chart on this website is useful: The Big Religion Comparison Chart: Compare World Religions - ReligionFacts (http://www.religionfacts.com/big_religion_chart.htm)

LAR
05-23-2013, 10:11 AM
Carol, Did you purchase the most recent publication date for these books or simply the cheapest? Thanks.


My kids just finished studying comparative religion, and our spine was Great Courses DVDs. These might be a bit dry for your daughter, though. However, here are some books and videos that were useful. (The videos were from netflix and I purchased the books rather inexpensively through Abebooks.com.)

Supplementary Books:



World Religions by John Bowker
Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction by Kim Knott
The Case for God by Karen Armstrong
Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction by Damien Keown
Buddha by Karen Armstrong
Islam: A Very Short Introduction by Malise Ruthven
Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong
Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong
Judaism: A Very Short Introduction by Norman Solomon
Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible by David Plotz


Supplementary Videos:



The Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha – PBS documentary
Inside Mecca – National Geographic documentary

inmom
05-23-2013, 10:25 AM
I confess...I did just buy the cheapest. If you're only able to purchase a few, I highly recommend anything by Karen Armstrong. We were also able to find many of her books at our library.

If I remember anything else, I'll post.

LAR
05-23-2013, 10:43 AM
Thank you, Carol and I agree. Cheap...here we go!

dragonfly
05-23-2013, 01:21 PM
Oak Meadow has added a Religions of the World course. It's intended as a half-year class. I haven't used it yet, so I don't know if it's any good, but since OM is secular, it should at least not be trying to push an agenda. Maybe the textbook they use would be of help to you...?

High School Social Studies (http://www.oakmeadowbookstore.com/Curriculum/High-School-Courses/High-School-Social-Studies-c166/) The textbook used is at the top, the syllabus and complete course package is down the page a bit. I'm probably going to give it a try for next year, but I plan to buy the textbook separately, since it's much cheaper elsewhere.

popsicle1010
05-23-2013, 10:53 PM
I know this isn't what you asked for, but I think this is a very nice comparative overview of world religions:

Amazon.com: One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship (9780679839309): Mary Pope Osborne: Books (http://www.amazon.com/One-World-Many-Religions-Worship/dp/0679839305/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307733007&sr=1-1)

It is appropriate for younger readers but I didn't find it inappropriate for older readers.

Just thought I would share in case you hadn't come across it yet!

valerieanne
05-24-2013, 04:59 PM
How fantastic and fun! I did a similar one semester course in grade 9, as an "Independent Study, Zen and Emerson". I made trips to each place of worship, participated in services/rituals, interviewed followers, and read books that were recommended to me by them. Reading their texts had real value, especially in comparing/contrasting them.

Each and every religious group (excepting muslim - don't drop your daughter off at temple in a skirt!!) was welcoming and generous with their time. Absolutely the best class I took in high school.

What I missed out on at the time, but did later: research when and where each religion/belief originated. What was happening in that region/culture at the time that would create a need for the beliefs/rules/rituals that came about, and how effectively did the resulting system address those needs? How long before a competing philosophy arose? Etc. Have fun :)

leakyowl
05-26-2013, 12:11 PM
If she's a strong enough reader for Karen Armstrong, you may also want to introduce her to Huston Smith. He wrote "The World's Religions," which is the core textbook we used in my college-level world religions classes. Stephen Prothero is also a fantastic writer on religious literacy, how religion influences culture and politics, and comparative religion. Maybe using these alongside a DK book on world religions (like this one Amazon.com: World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored & Explained (9780756617721): John Bowker: Books (http://www.amazon.com/World-Religions-Faiths-Explored-Explained/dp/0756617723/ref=pd_sim_b_7)) would work.

The PBS documentary on the Buddha mentioned earlier is fantastic. There is also one on Religious history in America that's wonderful (God in America--full program online: God In America: Watch the Full Program Online | PBS (http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/view/)) and one on the history of Islam (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu3-50oqGwA).

Also, if you are considering taking her to various places of worship to compare services, I strongly recommend the book How to be a Perfect Stranger. Great book on manners when visiting other's churches.

yocumdeb
05-30-2013, 12:33 PM
Thanks so much for all the wonderful suggestions. I have been researching some on-line and will be spending the day today at the library looking through many of the resources available there. My daughter and I are looking forward to doing this study. The only concern I have is that we won't have a set daily schedule already spelled out for us/her. I will need to make this for her because she can't stay on task without one. I want to make sure my schedule is reasonable.

If anyone has other ideas that pop into your head, feel free to share them. I love the suggestion of visiting different houses of worship. We did plan for her to interview people of different faiths, but I hadn't really thought of visiting. That will be so interesting!