Rumors in Damascus
Emir Abd el-Kader, a 19th century Algerian statesman, scholar, and warrior, must respond when he hears rumors that Christians in the city of Damascus will soon be under attack.
HBS Cases: Religion
Faith and Work: Hobby Lobby and AutoZone, Timothy Ewest, David M Miller, Kacee Garner, Holly Huser, Feb 4, 2015
This case considers two organizational sides of integrating faith into the workplace: the employee and employer perspectives.
Divided We Stand: Gay Marriage Rulings and Official Disobedience, Laura Winig, Christopher Robichaud, Aug 24, 2016
This case explores recent examples of government officials disobeying legal rulings on gay marriage and invites students to explore whether the officials were justified or not.
Managing Religion in the Workplace: Abercrombie & Fitch and Masterpiece Cakeshop, Derek C.M. van Bever, Mar 20, 2018
This case examines two incidents of alleged religious discrimination heard in the US Supreme Court, allowing students to explore whether business owners and leaders can and should express their values in the context of commerce.
Other Case Resources
News articles, brief scenarios, films, and other narratives can serve to augment—or even take the place of--case studies when teaching with the case method in religion and interfaith studies. Ideally, these materials would have some of the essential elements of a case study, including context, complexity, ambiguity, and relevance. (From Richard Fossey and Gary M. Crow, "The Elements of a Good Case." Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership 14, no. 3 (September 2011)) Below are some examples of book chapters, news articles, and other resources that might function as case studies and could be taught using the case method of discussion.
“Cherokee fight over graduations at churches could spread across Metro Atlanta”
Is holding high school graduations in a local megachurch a cost-saving measure or a violation of religious rights?
“Climbers Ignore Native Americans’ Request at Devils Tower”
Hikers ignore the National Park Service’s voluntary ban of hiking Devils Tower, claiming they also have spiritual and recreational rights to the sacred land known as “Bear Lodge” in Lakota.
“Alabama To Put Ten Commandment Displays on November Ballot”
Should voters decide if Ten Commandment monuments can be displayed on State property?
Video: “Who owns yoga?”
The video's section on America, which includes the Hindu American Foundation’s "Take Back Yoga" campaign, Christian yoga, and the Encinitas yoga dispute, begins at 11:33.
“’A second-best decision’” (Duke call to prayer controversy)
News of a proposed weekly call to prayer, to be sounded from the tower of iconic Duke Chapel, generates national controversy. How will Duke University leadership respond, and what does this controversy say about the role of the chapel—and the challenges of pluralism—on college campuses today?
“Test of Faith”
A Wellesley, MA educator brings his students to local religious centers to learn about diverse faiths, but some—including a Harvard Divinity School lecturer dedicated to religious literacy as well as an anti-Muslim advocate—consider it risky.
“Alabama judge blocks new Buddhist Center in Lawsuit over whether the center is religious”
When the Thai Meditation Association of Alabama applied to open a religious facility, they explained to city officials that meditation wasn’t tied to one religion and that the center would be open to all. With the zoning application denied, the Thai Buddhist community must now prove that the center is a religious facility.
“Hindu Swastika Sparks Controversy at Irvine Museum”
When a Hindu swastika is displayed at a children’s museum in Irvine, CA, controversy ensues. Should it be removed?
“Student allowed to bring religious knife to school”
When a Sikh student begins wearing a kirpan to elementary school in Auburn, WA, some worry that the small dagger poses a threat to student safety. If you can’t take it on a plane, should you be able to take it to school?
“Ordination at CRC stirs controversy”
When a synagogue in St. Louis, MO hosts the ordination of two Catholic women as priests, in a ceremony not recognized by Roman Catholic law, it strains Catholic-Jewish relations. Is it a stand against patriarchal relations or an act of disrespect?
“Don’t Leave Atheists Out”
Is there a place for Atheists in interfaith dialogue? What are the barriers? What are the limits?
Narrative Cases from Book Chapters:
Paul D. Numrich, The Faith Next Door: American Christians and Their New Religious Neighbors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
This book considers interactions between Christians and their multireligious neighbors in a nation and time of growing diversity.
Jennifer Peace, Or Rose, and Gregory Mobley, eds. My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth and Transformation. New York: Orbis Books, 2012.
This collection of stories from leaders, scholars and activists explores interreligious encounters around the world and what they mean for today’s society.
Resources from Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC):
Case Studies for Exploring Interfaith Collaboration: Classroom Tools
This toolkit offers access to several case studies and a guide for their use in the classroom, based on the Pluralism Project’s research.
Interfaith Case Study Evaluation Assignment
This short write-up outlines an example of a classroom assignment that engages students in an exploration of Pluralism Project case studies.
Interfaith Leadership in Action (Lesson8)
This interactive online learning module walks students through the meaning of interfaith leadership using the case method.