The Leaderís Guide companion to the video series, Religion as a Window
on Culture, is designed for use in a congregational setting.
The video and the leaderís guide have been tested in formal congregational
study settings as well as in a full-day workshop involving members of clergy, educators, and
representatives of community organizations.†
Use this guide in any way that seems appropriate to your setting.† First, preview
the episodes and read through the leaderís guide in advance of the group.† Lay
leaders may find it helpful to discuss episode concepts with members of clergy.†
Determine in advance the exercises you will use and what your groupís schedule
will be.† While each episode stands on its own, and could very well
be used by itself, the series works best if followed from Episode
I through Episode VI.†
One suggestion for using the series is to view one episode every two weeks.†
This would provide sufficient time for group members to re-examine the theme
of an episode in relation to their own faith tradition. The time might also
be spent learning about less familiar faith traditions in the community.† Many
have found that they gain a better understanding of their own traditions by
learning about the traditions of others.
While a great deal of information is contained in the video and many thought
provoking topics are incorporated in the Leaderís Guide, remember
that it is just a guide.† It can be used in its entirety or in part, but
it also can be modified or expanded upon to suit specific needs.†
Comments from the testing phase of the video and Leaderís Guide have suggested
the material can be used as a vehicle for service to oneís community.† Episode
V: Sacred Texts and Stories, for example, could serve as
a springboard to recording congregational history.† Or Episode III: Sacred Time
could be used to focus attention on efforts to revisit religious rites of passage.†
In other words, the video could lead to projects that the guide does
not envision and that might involve more than the viewing audience.
The Leaderís Guide offers a lesson plan for each episode in the video series.†
These sections include an introduction to the video, suggestions of
things to keep in mind while viewing the video, and questions for
discussion after watching the video.† For more in-depth investigation, additional
materials for each episode including worksheets for short exercises, optional
project suggestions, or questions for further group discussion are
included at the end of the section.
The appendices include a glossary of religious terms, observances, historical
figures, and deities; calendars of holy days; contact information
for faith groups; a selected bibliography, and copies of comparative
stories of creation.† Another source of information is our web site at www.thepoliscenter.iupui.edu.
We would be happy to hear from you.† Tell us how you decided to use Religion
as a Window on Culture.† What innovative ideas did your congregation
come up with in using the series?† Let us know of exercises you developed, or
projects that were inspired by the series.† How did participants respond to
the materials?† What was especially good about the series?† How could it be
a better product?† Let us know.