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Wabash Center Blogs
We support teachers of religion and theology in higher education.
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Nancy Lynne Westfield Associate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School Imagine this scenario: “YOU TOOK MY JESUS!” said the first-semester student who is feeling displaced, disoriented, disappointed and enraged while being overwhelmed, even defeated, by the unexpected convergence of seminary courses’ too dense readings along with the absence of. Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at Stories from the Front
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Youshaa PatelAssistant Professor of Religious Studies Lafayette College Today, Islam is paired with violence so often that these two concepts have become virtually synonymous. Conversations are often wedged between criticisms that Muslims are doing too much violence or not doing enough to stop it. Jihad, the Islamic keyword that. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Teaching Islam
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Cláudio Carvalhaes Associate Professor McCormick Theological Seminary Last time we talked about the body in the classroom. Our body, my body, the bodies of my students, are all shaped by institutional bodies that carry values, marks, love, deceptions, commitments and history. Just as our bodies carry constructions of race, gender, Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Stories from the Front
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Edward E. Curtis, IV Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts & Professor of Religious Studies Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI (Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis) For the past fifteen years I have tried to teach about Islam as a religiously diverse tradition practiced by communities around... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Tat-siong Benny Liew Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies College of the Holy Cross It is that time of the year. After weeks and months of class sessions and office hours, the spring semester is now over. There is, of course, something left for us teachers to do Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Jeffrey T. Kenney Walter E. Bundy Professor of Religious Studies DePauw University Many Islamicists, specialists in Islam, talk about the challenge of teaching Islam in a post-9/11 world, a world where the War on Terror (WOT), political chaos in the Middle East (exacerbated by the WOT), and global jihadi violence. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Nancy Lynne Westfield Associate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School Regardless of how many times pedagogical guru Parker Palmer is asked, he refuses to comply. Dr. Palmer, in his writings, speeches, and workshops, resists reducing the mystical adventure of critically reflective teaching to “tips, tricks, and techniques.” While I Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Youshaa Patel Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Lafayette College These days, Islam is no stranger to controversy. Although we may deplore the mainstream media’s deliberate sensationalization of Muslim conflicts, as professors we can also exploit conflict in the classroom to help our students achieve their learning objectives. Many of my. Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Cláudio Carvalhaes Associate Professor McCormick Theological Seminary At the heart of education, the most important “instrument” of our lives, the house we inhabit, is the very core of our selves: our bodies. Fully! It is in and through our bodies that we learn and are able to unlearn. The immense. Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Theological school deans are not just theological leaders for their institution, they must be EDUCATIONAL leaders. That is, they must implement sound educational practices related to curriculum, instruction, supervision, assessment, and administration. There is a variety of ways to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum, and there are several levels... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2016 at Theological School Deans
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Meena Sharify-Funk Associate Professor Wilfrid Laurier University “Women and Islam.” It is a subject that is surrounded by strongly held and divergent opinions, values, and beliefs, as well as by misconceptions, over generalizations, and yes, political agendas. In the 21st Century, there are many competing projects attempting to define who Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Tat-siong Benny Liew Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies College of the Holy Cross If you spend much time in the Northwest of California, especially if you are someone who likes to hike, alongside trail maps at visitor centers you will see posters that instruct you how to Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Sophie Gilliat-Ray Director Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK Cardiff University I ended my last blog entry by noting the value of inter-religious relationships formed among students learning about Islam in the higher education environment. Continuing with this theme, one of the consequences of this mixed-faith, or... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Nancy Lynne Westfield Associate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School Michael Callahan, brilliant Drew Theological School student, said in his response to a previous blog post, “Silence grants its own power to the one who wields it.” I love this idea! We are crisply aware of the power of.. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Caleb Elfenbein Assistant Professor Grinnell College Some time back, I wrote a blog post called “Teaching Islam and gender: why we need to set an ethical agenda for the classroom.” It described how, working collaboratively, my class on Islam, gender, and sexuality drew on the work of Lila Abu-Lughod to.. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Cláudio Carvalhaes Associate Professor McCormick Theological Seminary It was my first semester teaching. I was anxious and fearful. I was trying to know what to do, while pretending I knew everything. In my second or third class, as I was saying something critical of the US in relationship to 9/11 Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Martin Nguyen Associate Professor, Faculty Chair for Diversity Fairfield University In the teaching of Islam, there are many ways through which we can engage our students in the classroom. My intention here is to share one assignment that I have developed over the years that has proven to be incredibly. Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Tat-siong Benny Liew Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies College of the Holy Cross Five years ago, Yale law professor Amy Chua published a controversial book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. According to Chua, there is a basic difference in parenting practices between those of Asian (particularly. Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Theological school deans are not just theological leaders for their institution, they must be EDUCATIONAL leaders. That is, they must implement sound educational practices related to curriculum, instruction, supervision, assessment, and administration. There is a variety of ways to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum, and there are several levels... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2016 at Theological School Deans
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Eren Tasar Assistant Professor University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I remember how dumbfounded I was the first time a student told me he had grown up believing Catholics were not Christian. He had never, moreover, heard of the Orthodox Church, the only form of Christianity recognized by most Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Nancy Lynne Westfield Associate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School So central to my identity is teaching that when I think of the highest honor, the highest appreciation – I think of my gratitude for those who have liberated me through their teaching. I aspire, then, to instill in Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Youshaa Patel Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Lafayette College Every translation is an interpretation. This statement is especially true with regard to the Quran, since, according to Muslims, a translation of the Quran is not the actual Quran - just one interpretation among many. The Arabic Quran contains the actual. Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Cláudio Carvalhaes Associate Professor McCormick Theological Seminary One of the joys of teaching is to teach with somebody else. In my years of teaching, I have had many great experiences and I cherish each one of them very much. In past blogs I said that to teach is to create Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Caleb Elfenbein Assistant Professor Grinnell College More often than not, it seems, students register for courses on Islam wanting to learn “stuff.” In a moment when the ubiquity of Islam in public consciousness is matched by general illiteracy about its history and diverse forms, these expectations are tempting. Yet if. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Tat-siong Benny Liew Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies College of the Holy Cross Recent studies suggest that African American students, despite the opportunity to attend college, tend not to major in disciplines that are linked to a high income generating future, such as a STEM field; instead,. Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2016 at Stories from the Front