Resources for Participants

For a complete listing of available resources, including many selected readings and a complete schedule of events, please visit the links below. A password is necessary to visit these areas.

Using Primary Sources in the Classroom

The following resources, from the Teaching With Primary Sources program at MTSU, may aid in incorporating primary sources in the classroom.

Browse the digital collections at the MTSU Walker Library for more primary sources.


Selected Resources

Below you will find selected resources from the Bridging Cultures workshop. For a complete listing, please click here.

History: National Historic Context

The Founding Fathers, the First Amendment, and the Starting Point for U.S. Discussions of Religion and Politics

Distinguished Humanities Scholar Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, Ph.D.
Archer Alexander Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis

Provided Faculty Readings:

  • Charles L. Cohen and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., Gods in America: Religious Pluralism in the United States (Oxford U Press, 2013), 1-18.
  • Frank Lambert, Religion in American Politics: A Short History (Princeton University Press, 2010).

For Use in General Education Classrooms:

  • Charles C. Haynes, Religion in American History: What to Teach and How, at (contains documents, study questions, and advice on how to use these with students).
  • George Washington, letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island,

Aug. 18, 1790,

Additional Sources:

  • Randall Balmer, First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Freedom (Hendersonville, TN: Covenant Communications, 2012); The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond (Baylor U Press, 2010) ; Religion in Twentieth Century America (Oxford University Press, 2001); Blessed Assurance: A History of Evangelicalism in America (Beacon Press, 1999).
  • Sarah Barringer Gordon, The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (Harvard U Press, 2010).
  • Chris Beneke, Beyond Toleration: The Religious Origins of American Pluralism (Oxford: Oxford U Press, 2006). [Dissertation available through Walker Library JSTOR.]
  • Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore, The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State, updated edition (W.W. Norton, 2005), pp. 26-45. [eBook.]
  • David Sehat, The Myth of American Religious Freedom (Oxford U Press, 2011), pp. 1-69.
  • Denise A. Spellberg, Jefferson’s Qu’ran: Islam and the Founders (New York: Random House, 2013).

Digital Resources:

Religion and Ethics: Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and Expression

Overview of Religion and Ethics, including Case Studies of Religious Freedom and Freedom of Expression

Distinguished Humanities Scholar M. Christian Green, Ph.D., J.D., M.T.S.
Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University

 Provided Faculty Readings:

Additional Sources:

 Digital Resources:

Philosophy: Creating Cultures of Debate across Cultural and Religious Boundaries

Key questions to be addressed include, Is it possible to discuss religion, in particular religious prescriptions such as divine commandments, rationally? Are disagreements on fundamental questions valuable? Can we be certain that what we believe to be right actually is right? Can we institute a culture of debate as an intellectual space that allows us to discuss issues we deeply care about, but also deeply disagree on? How are the beliefs and values we hold contingent, the outcome of our upbringing? Does the internal diversity of religious traditions require deliberating and choosing between competing interpretations?

Distinguished Humanities Scholar Carlos Fraenkel, Ph.D.
The James McGill Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies, McGill University

 Provided Faculty Readings:

Additional Sources:

  • John Locke, Letter on Toleration,
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Norton, 2010) ; The Ethics of Identity (Princeton: Princeton U Press, 2005).
  • Martha C. Nussbaum, Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (Cambridge: Harvard U Press, 1997).
  • Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism (Princeton: Princeton U Press, 1994) ; Sources of the Self (Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 1989). 

Literature: Transformations

The Power of Literature to Change Lives

Distinguished Humanities Scholar Emily Auerbach, Ph.D.
Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison;
Director of the Odyssey Project, University of Wisconsin

Provided Faculty Readings:

  • Emily Auerbach, ed., Odyssey Project Course Reader (Madison: UW Odyssey Project, 2014).
  • Emily Auerbach and Kegan Carter, ed., Transformations: 10 Years of the UW Odyssey Project (Madison: U. Wisconsin Board of Regents, 2012).

For Use in General Education Classrooms:

Additional Sources:

  • Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (New York: Random House, 1969),; other formats: Moving autobiography.
  • Anne Frank, Diary of Anne Frank (1952), and Tatiana de Rosnay, Sarah’s Key (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007). Holocaust experiences.
  • Toni Morrison, Recitatif (1983). A short story of black and white girls meeting at five different stages in their life; Morrison’s short story doesn’t tell us which girl is black and which is white, so the story creates an interesting awareness of our own stereotypes.
  • Alice Walker, The Color Purple (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1970). Discussion of finding God in nature, racism, sexism, recovery from abuse.
  • Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala (London: Orion House, 2013) . Autobiography by Pakistani teenager shot by Taliban.

 Digital Resources:

Overview and Reflections, Rip Patton, community leader, civil rights activist, and original member of the Nashville Student Movement and a Freedom Rider

Video footage of Dr. Patton on the Oprah Winfrey Show

Civil Rights Driving Tour, North Nashville

Mr. Rip Patton, Narrator, Historian, and Tour Guide

Mr. Patton speaks regularly on his years as a young civil rights activist with the Nashville Student Movement and his experiences as a Freedom Rider that resulted in his incarceration at Parchman prison, the Mississippi state penitentiary. He did civic work, he says, because “It was the right time,” and he was guided by these spiritual words:

History: Integration of Global and Local

Tying It All Together

Distinguished Humanities Scholar Ronald Messier, Ph.D.

Director, Moroccan-American Archaeological Project in Aghmat, Morocco; Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Middle Tennessee State University

Professor Messier will address classical Islam versus Islam in America today; Jesus, one man, two faiths; and the context of the mosque controversy in Tennessee, issues and conflicts in our communities, and how we as professors in the classroom can positively contribute.
Link to Additional Reading List

Provided Faculty Reading:

  • John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam? (New York: Gallup Press, 2007). Results of Gallup’s World Poll.

Additional Sources:

  • Karen Armstrong. A History of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993) ; Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1992).
  • Loye Ashton, “Defending Religious Diversity and Tolerance in America Today: Lessons from Fethullah Gulen,” Proceedings of Islam in the Contemporary World: The Fethullah Gülen Movement in Thought and Practice, Rice University, November 12-13, 2005,
  • Kenneth Bailey, Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008).
  • Gregory Barker, ed., Jesus in the World’s Faiths (New York: Orbis Books, 2005).
  • James A. Bill and John Alden Williams, Roman Catholics and Shi‘i Muslims: Prayer, Passion, and Politics (Chapel Hill: U North Carolina Press, 2002).
  • John L. Esposito, What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam (Oxford University Press, 2002).
  • Mary Evins, “Moderation in All Things: Middle of the Road Politics for Progress, People, and Public Service,” in Birdwell and Dickinson, eds., People of the Upper Cumberland (Knoxville: U Tenn. Press, 2015). Caustic Protestant v. Catholic religious invective in Tennessee during 1960 Kennedy presidential campaign.
  • Tarif Khalidi, The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard U Press, 2001).
  • Charles Kimball, Striving Together: A Way Forward in Christian-Muslim Relations (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991).
  • Ali Merad, Christian Hermit in an Islamic World: A Muslim’s View of Charles de Foucauld (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1999).
  • Ronald Messier, One Man, Two Faiths: Jesus, A Dialogue between Christians and Muslims (Murfreesboro, TN: Twin Oaks, 2010).
  • Chawkat Moucarry, The Prophet and the Messiah: An Arab Christian’s Perspective on Islam and Christianity (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001).
  • Bob Smietana, “Religious Conflict Isn’t New to Murfreesboro: Catholic Immigrants’ Plans Fueled Protest in Murfreesboro in 1929,” Tennessean, Oct. 24, 2010.
  • Houston Smith, “Jesus and the World’s Religions,” in Jesus at 2000, ed. Marcus J. Borg, 107-20 (Boulder and Oxford: Westview Press, 1998).
  • Stella Suberman, The Jew Store: A Family Memoir (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 1998). Historical account of Jewish family in rural West Tennessee.
  • Rowan Williams, “To Be Worthy of the God We Worship,” 9/11 Speech at Al-Azhar,
  • Alan Wisdom, “Guidelines for Christian-Muslim Dialogue,” Institute on Religion and Democracy, April 2003.

Digital Resources:



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