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Alternate Activity 1: Video Stories of Religion (20 minutes), Workshop 1: Beyond Diversity

In "A Chorus of Faiths," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Video clip: Trailer for CNN documentary "God's Warriors"
  • Video clip: Trailer for Interfaith Youth Core documentary "Exchange"
  • A computer with Internet access and a large monitor or a projector and screen
  • Optional: Paper and pens

Preparation for Activity

  • This activity covers the same material as Activity 2, Stories of Religion, using different, more visual examples. Choose which version to present based on your available resources and the learning styles of participants in the group. If using this activity instead of the core Activity 2, plan to follow it with Activity 3, Religious Pluralism.
  • Set up and check Internet access and equipment.

Description of Activity

Participants identify characteristics of religious pluralism by viewing videos about religion.

Say, in your own words:

Let's talk for a little while about how religion is talked about in the world, and in the United States. To open up the conversation, let's watch an advertisement for a documentary that aired a few years ago on CNN, the international news network.

Play the video clip of the "God's Warriors" trailer. Then, facilitate a discussion. Keep in mind that this is a very emotional video. Ask:

  • How does this make people feel?
  • What language stood out?
  • What images?
  • What did this make you think about the role of religion in the world?
  • How does the video clip send this message?
  • How are young people depicted in this video? Does any of this reflect your life or your experience?

Wrap up the discussion after about ten minutes. Then say:

Now I'm going to play you another documentary trailer, put together by the Interfaith Youth Core about an exchange between 20 young people from Amman, Jordan and 20 from Chicago, who worked together for a year and then visited one another's homes.

Play the video clip of the "Exchange" trailer. Then, facilitate a discussion about it, using the same questions as above. Then, ask the groups:

  • How does the "Exchange" clip differ from the first video?
  • What kinds of things do the young people in the "Exchange" video do together?
  • What do the youth have to do to enable the dialogue and interaction they have?

To close the discussion, note:

The story of the first video is a very common one in our world. It is the idea of the Clash of Civilizations—that different religions are monolithic and can only fight one another. We as Unitarian Universalists believe in the narrative of the second video, that we are required to work for interfaith cooperation to solve social problems and build understanding.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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