2005-06 Pre-Tenure Religion

2005-06 Workshop on Teaching and Learning for Pre-Tenure Religion Faculty at Colleges and Universities

Leadership Team
Lorna Bowman, Brescia University, Director
Diana Hayes, Georgetown University
Bob Royalty, Wabash College
Ruel Tyson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Thomas Pearson, Wabash Staff






















Front Row (left to right): Lori Pearson (Carleton College), Suzanne Crawford (Pacific Lutheran University), Jane Hicks (St. John Fisher College), Kathryn Lopez (Campbell University), *Diana Hayes (Georgetown University), Jennifer Koosed (Albright College), Darla Schumm (Hollins University).

Second Row: *Ruel Tyson (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Diana Dimitrova (Michigan State University), *Robert Royalty (Wabash College), *Lorna Bowman (Brescia University), Michael Penn (Mount Holyoke College), Ruben Rosario-Rodriguez (St. Louis University), Julius Bailey (University of Redlands).

Third Row: *Thomas Pearson (Wabash Center), Theodore Burgh (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Lori Hale (Augsburg College), Elijah Siegler (College of Charleston), Valerie Stein (University of Evansville), Richard Amesbury (Valdosta State University).

* leadership/staff position.

Participants and Project Titles:

Richard Amesbury, Valdosta State University
“Designing a Research-Oriented Community Practicum to Map the Changing Religious landscape of the American South”

Although the southern United States is commonly characterized as the ‘Bible Belt’ closer analysis suggests that the region’s religious landscape is considerably more complex and variegated. This project aims to develop a course at Valdosta State University that would equip students to explore and document the religious diversification of their own community.

Julius Bailey, University of Redlands
“Race and Religion in Ethnic Communities in the Classroom”

While the insider/outsider dynamic is not a new issue in Religious Studies, the intersection of race and religion both in the material covered and the identities of the course participants raise additional pedagogical issues. This project will develop strategies to successfully navigate these dynamics, challenge students, and facilitate discussion.

Theodore Burgh, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
“‘Sticks, Stones, and Old Dry Bones May Help Build a World Known through Words’: Teaching Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel through Archaeology and texts”

This project seeks to explore how instructors can effectively employ archaeology and texts to reach religion and culture in ancient Israel. This subject has been the topic of research for some time. However, it can be greatly enhanced for the classroom by employing innovative instruction and developing technology.

Suzanne Crawford, Pacific Lutheran University
“Considering culture: Situating Missionization in native North America”

The project entails development of a new course . . . Dr. Crawford’s goals are to explore historical dimensions of religion and culture, consider implications for teaching and learning such a course in a church-affiliated school, and to develop more effective ways to incorporate students’ research projects into classroom activities.

Diana Dimitrova, Michigan State University
“Religion and Film: Gender and Religion in Bollywood Film”

This course explores the intersections of gender, religion and film. The project will examine whether traditional Hindu notions of the feminine are endorsed or subverted. The learning goals are to acquaint students with the way religion and the media interact. Teach undergraduates about Hinduism and discuss issues of feminism and film.

Lori Hale, Augsburg College
“Pedagogy Matters: Why some Students ‘Read all the Books, But Can’t Find the Answers’ (and Other Helpful Lyrics from John Mayer’s Debut Album Room for Squares)”

Students who read all the books, but can’t find the answers are asking different questions. This project explores and develops a range of pedagogical practices designed not only to grant students permission to ask questions, but forester their ability to do so. Asking questions and discerning which ones are worth pursuing, is a skill that matters.

Jane Hicks, St. John Fisher College
“Religion and Politics: Course Development in Religious Studies and Cultural Diversity”

The principle purpose of this project is to develop an innovative course on religion and politics that will enhance Religious Studies offerings and provide cultural diversity credit within the newly adopted core curriculum at St. John Fisher College. Offered annually, it will also serve the Religious Studies major and minor.

Jennifer Koosed, Albright College
“Feminist Interpretation of Scripture Without the ‘F-Word’”

The project is focused on the redesign of a course ‘Women in The Biblical World’ in order to teach more effectively feminist history, theory, and hermeneutics to undergraduates at the introductory level. Dr. Koosed’s particular focus will be how to teach students who have no knowledge of feminism, and negative feelings toward the word “feminism.”

Kathryn Lopez, Campbell University
“The Socially Conservative Christian University and the Space of Women in the Biblical Studies Classroom: Creating a Lived Space of Openness Over Against the Dominant Space of Tradition”

The purpose of this project is to explore ways to introduce the study of the Old Testament that will generate greater openness inside and outside the classroom to women and to her groups that have previously been marginalized by the dominant discourse of socially conservative Christians and their interpretation of the Bible.

Lori Pearson, Carleton College
“Redesigning ‘Introduction to Christianity’ from a Global Perspective”

This project in course development is designed to heighten the global and interdisciplinary dimensions of the course, ‘Introduction to Christianity,’ and to explore potential assignments and activities that could get students involved in reflecting on the diversity and complexity of Christian identities , practices, and beliefs in a variety of settings.

Michael Penn, Mount Holyoke College
“Early Christian Reactions to Islam”

The project is oriented toward the development of an upper-level seminar, ‘Early Christian Reactions to Islam,’ that would enable Dr. Penn to better integrate his research and teaching. This course would investigate the initial interactions of the modern world’s two largest religions, the earliest development of anti-Muslim stereotypes, and the beginnings of Christian/Muslim dialogue.

Ruben Rosario-Rodriguez, Saint Louis University
“All Theology is Local-A Workshop on Introducing Marginalized Perspectives in Theological Curriculums”

This workshop aims at enabling faculty in theology/religion departments within a liberal arts university to reflect on the challenges of integrating historically ignored or marginalized perspectives into an established theological curriculum reflective of dominant European and North American perspectives by reinterpreting the history of Christianity as a history of many local traditions rather than the history of one monolithic tradition.

Darla Schumm, Hollins University
“The Effective Use of Experiential and Service Learning Projects in a Religion and Sexual Ethics course”

The project is aimed at research and development of resources that will enable Dr. Schumm to more effectively incorporate service learning projects into a Religion and Sexual Ethics class she teaches. Her goal is to have students apply theoretical knowledge by participating in a service-learning project with a community-based organization that actively addresses issues relating to sexual ethics.

Elijah Siegler, College of Charleston
“The College of Charleston Using the City as Laboratory for Teaching Religious Studies Fieldwork methodology”

With the support of the department and dean, the project aims to develop a modular unit designed for Religious Studies majors, which teaches them a series of ethnographic methods (including participant observation, interviews, and archival research) necessary to conduct original research, while compiling data on contemporary and historical religion in Charleston.

Valerie Stein, University of Evansville
“Teaching to the Religion Major and the general Education Student: Integating Historical-Criticism and Cultural Hermeneutics”

To Develop an introduction to the Old Testament course to serve religion majors/minors as well as the general education students by integrating the historical-critical approach with cultural hermeneutics and by incorporating appropriate corresponding pedagogical methods. The theme of this year’s workshop – global culture of violence – will provide an opportunity to consider the possibility of a thematic approach as a means to accomplish the integration of methods and goals.

Wabash Center