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Religion and the News

Religion is a part of the cultural milieu that shapes many of the major news events making headlines these days. Whether it’s events in the Middle East, the pronouncements of Pope Francis, or the ongoing debates over such hot-button issues as same-sex marriage or gender roles, religion is often a key factor that affects what people see and do. It shapes the views of both news makers and those who consume news.

Unfortunately, many people know little about the religious beliefs of others, so their ability to make sense of the news is diminished. They lack the knowledge to put world events in context, particularly when it comes to religion. So a great place to learn about world religions is with ProQuest K-12 products. In addition to providing excellent source material for research about religion, ProQuest databases offer useful overviews, editorially-selected content, and a diversity of perspectives about how religion shapes our world today. They can help give users a framework for reading the day’s news with intelligence and understanding. Below are three examples.

eLibrary

Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

eLibrary, one of our largest general reference collections of periodical and digital media content, is one way to begin. In addition to the content available through targeted searching on religious topics, eLibrary has editorially-curated Research Topic pages that provide a starting point for learning about more than 7,500 of the most popular search queries, including world religions. These pages provide useful background information (overviews, history, beliefs and practices, photos, etc.) that can help place world events in context.

History Study Center

Study Topic Screencap via ProQuest History Study Center

Study Topic Screencap via ProQuest History Study Center

History Study Center, a database that covers history from ancient times to the present day, has editorially-created Study Units, which are in-depth introductions on a variety of historical topics. Each Study Unit includes a brief introduction followed by a page of editorially-selected links to reference works, biographies, maps, primary sources, journal articles, images, video clips, and websites. And there are dozens of Study Units dealing with religion—“The history of Judaism,” “The rise of Islam,” “Religion in colonial America,” “The papacy in the twentieth century,” etc. The Study Units provide useful information and historical context for understanding the world’s religions. In addition, users can find valuable material on religion on their own in History Study Center via targeted searches.

CultureGrams

CG Religion Category Screencap

Religion Category Screencap via ProQuest CultureGrams

Although there is some historical information about religion in CultureGrams, the emphasis of this product is more on daily life and the present. So with CultureGrams, users get a glimpse into how various religions are practiced today. Each country report has a religion category that gives an overview of the religious makeup of the country and often provides a brief description of some selected religious practices. Furthermore, relevant information about religion is often available in standard categories such as History, General Attitudes, and Holidays, as well as in photos, videos, slideshows, and interviews. Plus there are learning activities that help users discover more about the world’s major religions.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these or other ProQuest products, please contact us or register for a free webinar.

Kip Clark

Kip Clark is a Supervising Editor at CultureGrams. He has been with ProQuest for over 15 years. Prior to his employment with ProQuest, Kip worked as a writing and humanities instructor, editor, research assistant, furniture shipper, flower presser, and cookie maker. He has a BA and MA in English, with an emphasis on the literature of the American West. Kip has traveled throughout much of Western Europe, as well as to Kenya, Uganda, Canada, Israel, and Russia. His interests include cooking, reading, playing racquetball, and collecting spinning tops.

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