Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10


Chapter 4: Religious Oppression

Section 1: Discussion Questions

1A: Context
  • What characteristics of oppression (as presented in Chapter 1, selections #3–6) are illustrated by the readings in this chapter? What are some examples of religious oppression, based on readings in this chapter?
  • Provide 4 examples each, to illustrate the individual/interpersonal, institutional, and societal/cultural levels of religious oppression, based on the readings in this chapter? (For a review of these levels, see Chapter 1 #4.) Use the table to provide 4 examples for each of the levels of religious oppression.
  • Do you consider the United States a religiously pluralistic democracy, a Christian nation, or a combination of the two? Provide historical and contemporary examples to support your argument.
  • How do the readings in this chapter illustrate intersections between religious oppression and other forms of oppression, such as racism, classism, sexism? Based on these readings, what are some of the intersections between racism, classism, sexism and religious oppression experienced by (select 2 from this list) Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, or Sikhs?
1B: Voices
  • In what ways do the personal accounts of experiences of religious oppression in selections #55–56 illustrate the “big picture” of religious oppression described in selections #45–47?
  • Take two experiences of religious oppression described in the readings, and discuss the historical factors that contributed to that oppression.
  • If you were to write a story of your own personal experience of minority religious disadvantage or Christian advantage, what would you emphasize?
1C: Next Steps
  • Describe a situation of religious oppression (at the individual, or institutional, or societal/cultural level) that you have personally experienced or observed. How might you have been able to interrupt, challenge, and/or change that situation?
  • What knowledge or skills would you need to be able to take action against an instance of religious oppression? How can you gain that knowledge or skill? What steps are you willing to take in the future to increase your knowledge and skill in order to take action against religious oppression?
  • Selections #57–59 describe 3 organized efforts to work against religious oppression (and also against its intersections with racism and sexism). Can you imagine (or do you know of) other kinds of organized efforts that would work against religious oppression?
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