There have been a number of interesting blog posts and articles about pedagogy and biblical studies, with a number of very creative assignments and activities having been shared. Many of these have appeared over the past year or so through the website Ancient Jew Review, but a few are from elsewhere. Since the new semester is about to begin, it is about time I shared them!
I think the one that first grabbed my attention and made me think I should blog about this topic was titled “Sound Pedagogy.” It wasn’t focused on “getting pedagogy right” in relation to some “orthodoxy,” but in a punny manner talked about incorporating song into the classroom, focusing on the specific example of Psalm 137 and “Rivers of Babylon” (as performed by Boney M and others).
Then there was Shayna Sheinfeld’s article about “Genre-Bending Writing Assignments.” In it, she argues that “There are numerous reasons why we should ditch the thesis-driven paper in at least some instances” and then provides some really great examples of the kinds of alternative assignments she has in mind.
Other AJR pieces relevant to pedagogy include those on: using creative writing to teach Hebrew Bible, harnessing creativity in the biblical studies classroom, performing apocalyptic texts, and website construction as introduction to academic research. Elsewhere, there was also an article about using virtual reality to allow people today (students as well as others) a glimpse of ancient Rome. A. David Lewis wrote about the first Muslim superhero in comics, and then helped revive Kismet for the present day. See his blog post about that, as well as his others on comic dissertations and comic Bibles. There was also coverage of this in a variety of places, including the Popular Culture and Theology blog as well as RNS:
Stephen Garner has started a series on religion and comics. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. ASOR had an article about comics and archaeology. The Biblical Review also had a post on “Ancient Religion, Creative Writing, and Comic Books.” Here at Patheos, Keith Giles shared his thoughts on a comic reinvention of Jesus:
The Chronicle had an article about a science professor who wrote a children’s story.
Also about transgressing boundaries and making learning fun, in a variety of ways:
Finally, also related to the intersection of biblical studies and pedagogy, see “The Bible and the Pedagogy of the Oppressed.” Here is an excerpt:
While Freire’s work is seems to be aimed at a more general audience, one that is not necessarily Christian, it adapts the biblical tradition in provocative and stimulating ways. Freire should be commended by theology especially for translating a biblical vision of human flourishing into a Marxist context. Nor should this be too readily dismissed by theologians but carefully considered for the aspects of the biblical tradition that are all too easily overlooked in an introspective churchly context.