PARABOLA in the Classroom

classroomWelcome to Parabola in the Classroom!

Parabola in the Classroom is designed to provide educators access to primary sources from some of the world’s most distinguished religious scholars and writers. Recognizing that cultural and historical studies must include an examination of the world’s diverse belief systems, Parabola in the Classroom presents engaging yet scholarly articles from a variety of perspectives and views.

While all Parabola in the Classroom articles are accompanied by lessons that can be incorporated in the classroom, Parabola in the Classroom recognizes the importance of respecting the individual beliefs of all students. Therefore, Parabola in the Classroom encourages all educators to remind students that when religious beliefs are presented in the classroom, they are presented only in the context of what other people believe. Parabola in the Classroom does not endorse any specific belief system.

The teaching of diverse religious perspectives is critical in our increasingly interdependent world. It is equally critical, however, to respect the beliefs of all members of the classroom. To examine religion as an anthropologist as compared to a believer is to provide a fundamental framework of respect for all members of the classroom. And it is equally important to remember that articles and interviews presented in Parabola in the Classroom are primary sources and represent individual views and beliefs. The articles are not written by anthropologists but by scholars of, and even practitioners of, religions. By taking a few minutes at the beginning of each lesson to remind students that they will be working with primary sources regarding religious beliefs and by reminding them that these beliefs do not reflect the views of the school district or individual faculty members, students and teachers can appreciate the study of the world’s religions without feeling threatened or intimidated. Ultimately, of course, respecting diversity begins with respecting each member of the classroom.

If you have questions, comments or concerns regarding Parabola in the Classroom, please feel free to email the creator of  Parabola in the Classroom, Elizabeth Napp, at

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