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Dialogue in the “Purple Zone”: Pedagogies for Civil Discourse in Online and On-site Settings

Awarded Grant
Schade, Leah
Lexington Theological Seminary
Theological School

Proposal abstract :
This project explores the use of deliberative dialogue as a pedagogical tool for facilitating difficult conversations in online and on-site settings with seminary students, clergy, and laity for the purpose of encouraging civic engagement within theological education and the larger church. We will focus on techniques of teaching civil discourse to create a “purple zone” within the red-blue divide of all three learning settings of our curriculum – online, on-site, and in the congregation. Our goal is to help learners develop multi-perspective understandings of their own and others' views while demonstrating the possibility of increased willingness to engage in public issues and social action. Our intent is to determine if deliberative dialogue is a viable pedagogical method for bridging the divide between seminary study and public ministry. Institutionally, we will consider the ways in which we may integrate the pedagogy of deliberative dialogue across disciplines and within our collective philosophy of teaching.
Wabash Center