The Bible and Its Influence
The Bible Literacy Project curriculum will be unique in eight distinctive ways: (1) It was created to fulfill the standards of The Bible & Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide, co-published by the Bible Literacy Project and the First Amendment Center. The Guide provides a consensus statement about how the Bible can be taught in public schools, and was endorsed by 21 national educational and religious organizations, including the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Evangelicals and the American Jewish Congress, among many others. ** (2) It has been examined by 40 reviewers, with their feedback incorporated into the editing of the text. The reviewers include prominent literature academics as well as high school teachers and scholars from the Roman Catholic, Protestant Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Eastern Orthodox and Jewish traditions. ** (3) It is uniquely a student textbook. While some curricula offer only a teacher's guide, the Bible Literacy Project textbook will be the only student textbook produced in nearly 30 years. The 40 chapters of the textbook are encompassed in 14 units, seven units for Hebrew Scriptures and seven units for the New Testament. It presents a straightforward explanation of the narratives, themes, and characters of the Bible, written to respect, but not promote various faith perspectives. The course includes direct reading from the Bible. Students will use the translation of the Bible with which they are most comfortable. ** (4) It broadly covers the cultural contexts and influences of the Bible, with examples of art, literature, rhetoric and music. The textbook contains engaging features entitled Historical Connections, The Bible in Literature, Cultural Connections (music, art, rhetoric), and Into Everyday Language. Special one or two-page features include "Abraham Lincoln and the Bible," "Handel's Messiah," "The Bible and Emancipation," Shakespeare and the Bible," among many others. ** (5) It preserves the ability of parents to teach their view of the Bible's religious significance. The text presents a fair and academic presentation of the Bible, without prejudice to a particular view of canon and doctrine. ** (6) It has been pilot tested both in public high schools and in a university training course for English teachers. ** (7) There is an accompanying teacher's manual in development (scheduled for Summer 2006). ** (8) There will be a university-based, online teacher training program available.
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