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Wabash Center Blogs
We support teachers of religion and theology in higher education.
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Ella Johnson, PhD Assistant Professor St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry Countless hate crimes since Election Day already show the widespread effect of the President-Elect’s unpredictable nature and his death-inducing ideologies: racism, islamophobia, heteropatriarchy, xenophobia, anti-Semitism. What do we as higher educators do when our global context is unstable,... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Teaching, Religion, Politics
Welcome to the new blog series, “Teaching, Religion, Politics.” Current events have pressed the conversation about teaching religion and politics to the foreground in many classrooms across higher education. The Wabash Center is seeking to be responsive to the need for faculty conversation about this topic and to provide resources... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Teaching, Religion, Politics
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Meena Sharify-Funk Associate Professor Wilfrid Laurier University In my last two blogs, I have been sharing some thoughts on teaching Sufism and contemporary Sufism, giving special consideration to the importance of helping students actively explore different elements of Sufi tradition and culture in the different Islamic periods. For this blog Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Teaching Islam
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SherAli Tareen Assistant Professor Franklin & Marshall College In this blog, I want to continue with the theme that animated my last post “Genealogically Attuned teaching in an Introductory Course on Islam.” To remind, the question I had engaged had to do with the problem of presenting in an undergraduate Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Meena Sharify-Funk Associate Professor Wilfrid Laurier University Why and how has Sufism become such a contested topic in the 20th and 21st centuries, and what does “authentic” Sufism look like today? Why are historical Sufi shrines in Pakistan, Mali, and Iraq being destroyed by Muslims? Why do some Muslim governments Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Joshua Canzona Georgetown University My teacher training focused on goals and assessment. When I conduct workshops on teaching and whenever I am asked for advice on teaching, I tell instructors to clarify goals and work backward. Two years ago I gave a presentation on technology in the classroom. I included. Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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SherAli Tareen Assistant Professor Franklin & Marshall College This blog builds on Caleb Elfenbein’s excellent post in this series “Scaffolding Theory at the Introductory Level.” I want to think about two interconnected issues in relation to engaging theoretical discussions in the study of Religion and the Humanities in an introductory... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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Elliott Bazzano Assistant Professor Department of Religious Studies Le Moyne College For those of us who teach on the semester system, we face the daunting task of presenting our course in about 15 weeks (and for those of us on quarter systems, about 10!). Among the greatest challenges given this Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at Teaching Islam
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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 Sep 21, 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 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 Sep 20, 2016 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