Court Ruling

Write a 750 word religious essay about the Kitzmiller v Dover case and how the teaching of ‘intelligent design’ in public schools. MAKE SURE TO USE BASIC RELIGIOUS VOCABULARY make sure to explain how it is significant. Match the terms with what is discussed in the video as well as what the professor wants to see in the essay.

What the Professor Wants to See: Topic: Kitzmiller v. Dover (see below) (you may give your essay a suitable title of your own choosing)

Length: 750 words (give word count in parentheses at end)

Format: Double spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 point type; include your name, date, and REL 1030 [CRN] (i.e. the 5 digit code for your section of REL 1030) at the top

Due date/time: Tuesday, April 23, before midnight (entered or uploaded here in one of the formats accepted by SafeAssign–otherwise it cannot be graded)


1) Film: Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial (above–view in window, or click on YouTube)

2) Ruling: Kitzmiller v Dover.pdf 


One goal of this course is to help you be a better informed observer of, and a more thoughtful participant in, discussions of religion in contemporary society and culture. The topic of this essay is a recent (2005) federal court case relating to the teaching of ‘Intelligent Design’ in public schools. Watch the film, above, which is a 2-hour documentary on the case. Then write a 750 word analysis of the film and the underlying case. You are not being asked simply to summarize the film. Nor is it the point of the essay for you simply to offer your opinion as to whether or not ‘Intelligent Design’ should be taught alongside evolution in a public school biology class (you may briefly state your opinion if you wish, as long as you can also briefly offer good reasons for it). The main business of the essay is for you to reflect on this controversy and apply to it what you’ve learned of the study of religion (questions are raised in this film and the underlying court case about defining ‘religion’ as opposed to ‘science’, relations between religion and society, religion and modernity, church and state, etc.).

Also included above is the actual court ruling, listed as Resource 2. It is a long document, but if you take the time to skim through it, you will likely find material that should inform your essay.

You may do additional research regarding the case and coverage of it in the news media, if you wish, but you do not need to; the documentary supplemented by the ruling, along with your textbooks and your brain brimming with new knowledge of the study of religion, will be sufficient for the assignment. ANY and ALL sources must be cited and quotations placed in quotation marks.

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