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Wabash Center Blogs
We support teachers of religion and theology in higher education.
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Meena Sharify-Funk Associate Professor and Chair Religion and Culture Department Wilfrid Laurier University After teaching an introductory course on Islam for over ten years I still am fascinated that most students are unaware of what Sufism is and how Sufism has influenced Islamic metaphysics, societies, cultures, histories, arts, sciences and Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Teaching Islam
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Tat-siong Benny Liew Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies College of the Holy Cross The University of Chicago made news recently because of a letter sent by its Dean of Students to inform its incoming class of freshmen that the University, given its commitment to “freedom of inquiry. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Stories from the Front
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Nancy Lynne WestfieldAssociate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School Have you ever thought you knew something, only to discover, with the passing of time and the acquisition of experience, that there was more depth, breath, and nuance to the idea or situation than you had previously thought? Or Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Martin Nguyen Associate Professor, Faculty Chair for Diversity Fairfield University Not too long ago I was invited to join a panel with the ambitious aim of putting into context for the campus community the rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment and the Islamophobia industry behind it. I was specifically requested to. Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Cláudio Carvalhaes Associate Professor Union Theological Seminary I am starting a new job at Union Theological Seminary in New York city. It is a joy beyond measure for me. As we know well, when we start a new job, our new position comes with lots of expectations, insecurities, hopes, and.. Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Tat-siong Benny Liew Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies College of the Holy Cross It was by now a pretty well-known social experiment. A man dressed like a homeless person collapses on the street and is ignored by pedestrians; when the same person puts on a business suit. Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Eren Tasar Assistant Professor University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill In the quest for understanding the dynamics of Muslim societies, understanding Islam is not always the key. This was the theme of my last post on Islam and Decolonization. I would like to offer more thoughts on a related. Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Nancy Lynne Westfield Associate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School My grandmother used to speak in adages, parables, metaphors, similes and symbols. Now I call her proclivity for language, literature, and meaning-making “wisdom-speak.” Then, I thought she was being corny. She knew her wisdom-speak was meant to teach me Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Cláudio Carvalhaes Associate Professor Union Theological Seminary As we go back to the classroom (and shake off the dust of summer), we all have mixed feelings and expectations. While some of us will just go back to the normal, others will be anxious and perhaps fearful about a.. Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Elliott Bazzano Assistant Professor Le Moyne College I recently finished my fourth year of full-time teaching and I have noticed two consistent reactions that students have to course material in my Islam-focused courses (i.e., Islam, Islamic Mysticism, and The Qur’an): 1) Ability and willingness to readily acknowledge Islamophobia in American... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 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 Those of us who spend our leisure time watching the Tennis Channel are guaranteed to have seen numerous episodes of the marketing promotion called, “Bag Check,” where the top players reveal, one item at... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Nancy Lynne Westfield Associate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School The up-tick of media covered violence in the USA, as well as the reports of violence from around the world, causes me to pause. While I believe that experiencing the pain, suffering, and uncertainty of the world is calling Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 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 Aug 1, 2016 at Theological School Deans
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Cláudio Carvalhaes Associate Professor McCormick Theological Seminary In Brazil We who believe in freedom cannot rest We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes. (1) We have had a month of intense events in the US. The killings of Black precious people, this time, Philando Castile and Alton... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Joshua Canzona Georgetown University When I was teaching public high school, a colleague in the history department approached me to express his concern about our world religions curriculum. “I am scared to touch it,” he said. What he meant, first of all, was that he felt unprepared to teach about.. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 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 At the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature last year, the Student Advisory Board organized an interesting session titled, “What I’m Telling My Students.” I find this a wonderful question for every Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Eren Tasar Assistant Professor University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill As a trend in twentieth-century world history, decolonization is a major topic in any class dealing with modern Muslim societies. This mundane fact comes as a surprise to some of my students, however, for reasons that I can illustrate. Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Nancy Lynne Westfield Associate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School It is a challenge to do what you teach. “If you know these things happy are ye if you do them.” (John 13:17, King James Version – or the version of my childhood bible study) - my grandfather’s favorite. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Caleb Elfenbein Assistant Professor Grinnell College The core learning goal of my introduction to Islam is that “Islam” is not a thing. Islam does not say anything. Islam does not do anything. Islam holds no power over anyone. Given the incredible diversity across time and space that marks the practices Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Cláudio Carvalhaes Associate Professor McCormick Theological Seminary In Brazil There has been a recent uprising of students fighting for justice and better education. Several political developments have spurred the revolt of fourteen- to seventeen-year-old students in defiance of arbitrary laws of governors. Let me mention four events. First, it was Continue reading
Posted Jul 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 Jul 1, 2016 at Theological School Deans
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Sufia Uddin Associate Professor Connecticut College No better time to teach how Islam is “raced” than now. Comments by the likes of Donald Trump provide excellent fodder for discussions about race, religion, and racism. It is also true that the kinds of questions asked by journalists and the stories they Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 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 “You are now entering the real world.” This is undoubtedly one of the most popular remarks that college/university graduates hear around the time of their commencement ceremony. The comment implies, of course, that life Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Stories from the Front
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Joshua Canzona Georgetown University In his “Homage to Joe Sacco,” Edward Said celebrates the author of Palestine and gives us one of the best love letters to comics ever written. He shares his first comic book experience, “Everything about the enticing book of colored pictures, but specially its untidy, sprawling. Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Nancy Lynne Westfield Associate Professor of Religious Education Drew Theological School The proximity of violence is the terror. Violence is not new – it is, for much of our society and in many, many ways, a preferred way of life. The illusion is that violence can be controlled, patrolled, contained, Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2016 at Stories from the Front