Diane L. Moore

After Hobby Lobby: What is Caesar's, What is God's?
Moore DL. After Hobby Lobby: What is Caesar's, What is God's?. The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

As prelude to the 2015 Petrie-Flom Center Annual Conference, “Law, Religion, and Health in America,” this pre-conference session held on May 7, 2015 at the Harvard Law School examined the role of religion in the American public sphere. Our expert panel discussed the nature of conscience and conscientious objection, religious freedom, and religious accommodation from philosophical, theological, historical, legal, and political perspectives.  This video features Professor Diane L. Moore's presentation. See here to view the entire forum.

Panelists:

  • E. J. Dionne, Jr., Columnist, The Washington Post; Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

  • Diane L. Moore, Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education and Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School

  • Charles Fried, Beneficial Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

  • Frank Wolf, Representative, Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives, 1981-2015 (retired)

  • Moderator: Daniel Carpenter, Freed Professor of Government, Harvard University and Director, Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University 

  • Moderator: I. Glenn Cohen, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center

Remarks by Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

 

The Modern Era

The modern period, heralded by what is known as the Enlightenment, began in the West in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with the end of the religious wars that had torn Europe apart. In the wake of years of bloodshed over religious doctrine, eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinkers emphasized religious toleration and the need to separate religious life from political power. The role of reason in religious thinking—that people should be free to use their intellect to make up their own minds about what they believed—was reaffirmed.

The Protestant Movement

The sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation was sparked by Martin Luther, a German monk whose studies of the Bible led him to attack the leadership of the Catholic Church in his day. First, Luther insisted that religious authority lay not primarily in church traditions, nor in the hierarchy of bishops and popes, but in the Bible alone. The teaching of the church and its leaders must be judged by the standard and teaching of the Bible, which is the sole authoritative source of the Christian faith.

Credo: “I Believe. . .”

One of the distinctive features of Christianity is its emphasis on a creed, a summary statement of faith. The term credo is often translated today as “I believe...” but it is important to remember that its literal meaning is, “I give my heart...” It is language of the heart, a profound expression of commitment, not simply a list of statements to which one gives intellectual assent. When the early church was being persecuted, commitment to the way of Christ was often dangerous, requiring real courage.

Death and Resurrection of Jesus

As Jesus traveled and preached, he angered the Roman rulers, who feared that he was provoking unrest among the people and planning a revolution. He was also feared by Jewish leaders because of his challenges to traditional authority and teachings. Jesus named hypocrisy where he saw it and urged his community to claim a new prophetic vision. Those who opposed him saw him as a dangerous upstart who wanted to form a cult around himself. Jesus was well aware of these charges against him by political and religious authorities, and he predicted that he would be attacked and persecuted.

Guidelines for Teaching About Religion in K-12 Public Schools in the United States.
Moore DL. Guidelines for Teaching About Religion in K-12 Public Schools in the United States. The American Academy of Religions [Internet]. 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Contrary to popular opinion, religion is embedded in state standards across the K–12 spectrum and is especially prominent in English and social studies curricula. In spite of this fact, very few educators have been trained in the religious studies methods required to teach this content responsibly. This fifty-page document is divided into four main sections that address: 1) Why teaching about religion is important; 2) The distinction between a devotional approach to religion and a non-devotional religious studies approach appropriate for public schools; 3) How to teach about religion with a variety of approaches, pedagogical strategies, and “snapshots” of classroom practices across the K–12 spectrum; and 4) The content and skill competencies required for teachers to teach about religion in intellectually sound ways. The document also includes endnotes, a bibliography of works cited, and appendices that offer additional practical resources and suggestions.