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Project on Religion and Urban Culture - Public Teaching

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The Polis Center is working to foster public conversation for teaching and learning. We create clear and comprehensive educational materials for the public: curricula, leader’s guides, and supporting materials for professionals who are engaged in public teaching. Through partnerships with congregations and community groups, we train leaders and teachers to implement the materials.

We have developed materials to orient new clergy to Indianapolis, and are identifying local resources available for clergy and lay leaders. We organize workshops on the various relationships between religion and community. We facilitate conversations among congregations, clergy, and civic leaders. We strive to promote communication between religious studies teachers and public institutions. We encourage journalists to understand and write about the reciprocal relationship of religion and urban culture.

The Polis Center contributes scholarly papers, articles, and books to the academic dialogue on religion and urban culture. Ten Good Questions About Faith-based Partnerships and Welfare Reform raises questions for congregations, foundations, and government to ask as they consider forming partnerships under Charitable Choice. We publish newsletters for both general and specialist audiences: Religion and Community, Clergy Notes, Research Notes, and Responsive Communities: Faith at Work in Indianapolis.

We have produced a six-part video documentary, Religion as a Window on Culture, which examines themes common to many religions and explores their relationship to culture. The documentary was shot almost entirely in Indianapolis. We have produced a companion Leader’s Guide for use in classrooms and congregational settings.

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