Russ Arnold
Regis University

Topic:

Reporting on Religion workshop

Find out why religion reporting needs to be a central part of your weekly newsgathering business. More than 70 percent of Americans self-identify as “Christian,” according to the most recent Pew Research Center study, and the Christian faith continues to permeate our culture. Other religions, such as Judaism and Islam, as well as a lesser defined “spirituality,” have deep U.S. roots.

Don’t let religion coverage in your community sleep soundly. Religion informs your readers’ lives. It plays a role in what people think, what they say and how they share the narratives of their lives. In many cases, you can provide a more fully rounded story by examining the religious angle.

Three Regis University scholars – a Jesuit theologian, a Roman Catholic feminist theologian and an interfaith studies professor – will look at modern religion news coverage from a religious and theological vantage point. They’ll examine the nature of religious storytelling in light of our polarized political culture and the way univocal and stereotypical understandings of religion produce weak, abstract and inaccurate news and feature stories. Q&A will follow.

Bio:

Russ Arnold, Ph.D., is an associate professor of religious studies at Regis University in Denver. He teaches courses in Interfaith Studies, Biblical Studies and Jewish Studies. He came to the study of religion in college in an attempt to understand why and how Jews and Christians read the shared texts of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, but come to understand them very differently. His early scholarly writing focused on the ritual and liturgical practice of the community associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls in the context Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity. Since coming to Regis four years ago, he has been active in interfaith dialogue and building strong relationships between Regis and local Muslim and Jewish communities.