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It's Considerate to be Literate about Religion


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About the Author

Dr. Steven Clark Cunningham was born in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from Creighton University with majors in chemistry and Spanish, he attended medical school at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Having completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Maryland and a fellowship in surgery of the liver and pancreas at Johns Hopkins University, he now serves as Director of Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgery as well as Director of Research at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He is currently completing his master's degree in religion at Harvard University. He has served as a contributing editor of Maryland Poetry Review, and his poems have appeared in that journal. In addition, his work won the literary arts contest sponsored by the magazine "The New Physician." His poems have also appeared in Chimeras, Word House Baltimore's Literary Calendar, and in the anthologies Function at the Junction #2, Pasta Poetics, and Poems for Chromosomes. "Dinosaur Name Poems" / "Poems de Nobres de Dinosaurios" (Three Conditions Press, 2009), his first full-length book of children's poetry, translated into Spanish by his wife, Myriam Gorospe, won the 2009 Moonbeam Award in both the Children's Poetry and the Spanish Language categories. His second book, "Your Body Sick and Well: How Do You Know?" (Three Conditions Press, 2020), was awarded 1st Place in Children's Nonfiction at the 26th Annual CIPA EVVY Awards Contest, sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, and a Gold Medal in the 14th Annual Moonbeam Awards. It was also a Finalist in the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.


"It's Considerate to Be Literate about Religion is a fun, compassionate, and lyrical journey into religious diversity. With whimsical prose and beautiful illustrations, Cunningham offers kindhearted depictions of religious differences alongside his invitation to appreciate their common moral commitments. A must-have for childhood educators and families hoping to raise open-minded children!"-Matthew W. Hughey, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut
"In this important book by Dr. Steven Cunningham, the author builds on his previous works that explore the intersection of poetry and nomenclature to help us see a topic in a new and unique light. In his current work, Dr. Cunningham masterfully uses 'poemenclature' to make religious literacy an approachable topic for a wide population. This book provides a broad welcoming overview of different religious world perspectives. It is a must-read for not only the young, but for people of all ages."-Timothy M. Pawlik, MD, PhD, MPH, MTS, MBA, FACS, FSSO, FRACS (Hon.), Professor of Surgery, Ohio State University; scholar of religion
"Dr. Cunningham's contribution to the field of religious studies is creative, accessible, and informative. Most importantly, it addresses some of the most common misconceptions about religion and offers readers a more sophisticated and nuanced approach to understanding our diverse world."-John Camardella, College World Religion, Prospect High School; Education Fellow, Religion in Public Life Program, Harvard Divinity School
"A well-crafted and imaginative book assisting students to understand and address one of the critical issues facing our multireligious and multiethnic world-religious illiteracy. The eloquent poems and case studies, skillfully integrated into the text, are brilliant!"-Ali S. Asani, PhD, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University
"Wherever we find ourselves-in a classroom, a workplace, a neighborhood-we encounter the presence of religious diversity. In his book, Dr. Steven Cunningham reveals a key way to avoid conflicts and tensions in our relationships: by becoming familiar with and learning about religion, especially religions that are not our own. The examples in the book clarify the various points he brings. Knowledge develops respect, tolerance, and acceptance of the 'other, ' exactly what our society needs now. Knowledge is power. I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter what age."-Rabbi Ziona Zelazo, BsC; Assoc. Chaplain, Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ; Disaster Spiritual Care Provider for the American Red Cross
"Dr Cunningham's book is an absolute must-read for all clinicians and educators. As we recognize the importance of providing care to all people with respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is essential that respect for people's religious or spiritual beliefs and values be respected and honored in their care. This book is engaging, thoughtful, scholarly, and practical."-Christina Puchalski, MD, OCDS, FACP, FAAHPM, Professor of Medicine and Health Science; Executive Director, The George Washington University's Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish)
"Well-produced, accessibly written, and beautifully illustrated, this book encourages the kind of well-informed engagement with religions that is all too rare, and yet increasingly a requirement of civilized encounter with others in our time."-Bruce D. Chilton, PhD, MDiv, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion; Director, Institute of Advanced Theology, Bard College

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