Informal Discourse for Academics

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Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam #CFP

I had the above video of a roundtable discussion of “Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam” drawn to my attention. It took place at last year’s ASMEA conference. Apparently the topic will be a focus again next year, and so there is a call for papers that is currently open that some of you may [Read More...]

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Superman Takes Sociology

I love this. I hope that the experience of students is that, early on, we problematize simplistic ideas of good vs. evil, but also that by the end of their studies, we have helped them identify the genuine evils that are much more pernicious and pervasive, and which cannot be eliminated by killing “bad guys” since they [Read More...]

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Word Clouds to Assess Learning

I really like the suggestion that Shayna Sheinfeld shared in a recent article, for using word clouds in a pre-test and then post-test in classes. If you ask students what they think, or think they know, about a topic, on the first day of class or the start of a new unity, and create a word [Read More...]

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How to E-Mail a Professor

Sometimes we neglect to explain how to do something, assuming that it should be common knowledge, and then live with constant frustration when others fail to know what we think they should. How to write to one’s professor in an appropriate manner is one such area. Perhaps we should just explain the rules, even if [Read More...]

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Evangelical Fear of Scholarship

Two different people suggested that this quote should be turned into a meme. It is from a blog post which rounded up blogging about the Christology of Mark’s Gospel, in which I also referred to and summarized an article in Christianity Today about how Evangelicals view those who move into academia.     [Read more...]

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What My Desk Says About Me

I confess that my desk is covered in books, and papers from last semester and probably older. Have you been judging me, the way the infographic below suggests? [Read more...]

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Methodological Atheism and Agnosticism in the Study of Religion

Academic study focuses on the world of cause and effect, on evidence and probability. And so there has been much discussion of methodological naturalism in the sciences, at least among those who are disgruntled by the fact that the sciences don’t make room for God or provide evidence for God. The same discussion can be [Read More...]

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Sabbatitude

Most of you will be aware that I was on sabbatical last semester. My department administrator used the term “sabbatitude” at some point early in the semester, and I liked the term, and so I thought I would use it in the title of this post, since every blogger who gets a sabbatical inevitably must [Read More...]

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Liberal Arts and Learning How To Learn

I was blown away when Joshua Kim, in a piece he wrote for Inside Higher Ed, answered a question about what is exciting in the future of education, and he answered in terms of the liberal arts. And so I’ve been meaning to share this quote, and a link to the article it is from, for a [Read More...]

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I Hope Every Class Makes You Uncomfortable

I’ve been waiting for the start of classes to return to a post on another Patheos blog from some months ago. It was a response to a student who asked whether a particular class was going to challenge their faith and make them uncomfortable. My answer to that question would be much shorter than the one [Read More...]

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