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On Teaching Religion: Essays by Jonathan Z. Smith

Lehrich, Christopher I., ed.
Oxford University Press, Oxford, NY
BL41.S645 2013
Topics: Teaching Religion   |   Liberal Arts

Additional Info:
This volume collects essays and lectures of renowned scholar of religion Jonathan Z. Smith, many previously published in out-of-the-way periodicals or unavailable in print.

For more than thirty years, Jonathan Z. Smith has been perhaps the most important voice of critical reflection within the academic study of religion. His essays are cited constantly, his books used in undergraduate and graduate classes. Smith has also produced a significant corpus of essays and lectures on teaching and on the essential role of academic scholarship on religion in matters of education and public policy. Many of these articles appeared in education journals, which unfortunately most academic scholars do not read; others are collected in specialist volumes of conference proceedings on Judaic Studies, for example. Many were originally delivered as keynote speeches to the AAR and other major scholarly organizations, and although scholars reminisce about hearing Smith deliver them, the works themselves are not readily available. Education is not a side issue for Smith, and his essays continually shed light on fundamental questions. What differentiates college from high school? What are the proper functions of an introductory course? What functions should a department serve in undergraduate and graduate education? How should a major or concentration be conceived--if at all? What roles should the academic guilds play in public discourse on education and on religion? Most importantly, what does it mean to say that one is both a scholar and a teacher, and what responsibilities does this entail? On Teaching Religion collects the best of these essays and lectures into one volume, along with a new essay by Smith. (From the Publisher)

Table Of Content:
A Prefatory Note
Introduction: Approaching the College Classroom

Part One: Religion in the Academy
ch. 1 The Introductory Course: Less Is Better
ch. 2 Basic Problems In the Study of Religion
ch. 3 Scriptures and Histories
ch. 4 Here and Now: Prospects for Graduate Education
ch. 5 Connections
ch. 6 Religious Studies: Whither (Wither) and Why?
ch. 7 Are Theological and Religious Studies Compatible?
ch. 8 'Religion' and 'Religious Studies': No Difference at All

Part Two: The Academic Profession
ch. 9 Re-Forming the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Retrospective
ch. 10 Why the College Major?: Questioning the Great Unexplained Aspect of Undergraduate Education
ch. 11 Puzzlement
ch. 12 Towards Imagining New Frontiers
ch. 13 To Double Business Bound

Editorial Remarks (Christopher I. Lehrich)
Wabash Center