How do you "teach" religion—to the practitioner, the puzzled, or the nonplussed? How can engaging religion benefit broader audiences?
As anyone involved in teaching about religion could tell you, there are some occupational hazards that come with the vocation. It can be difficult to make the significance of studying, thinking, and talking about religion clear to our families, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and students. Many of our everyday interlocutors claim expertise in ways that challenge our position as educators. At times, moments of misunderstanding, or even failure, in the project of religious studies can be productive (even if painful) in the ways they tell us about the complexities of belief, thought, and tradition.
To help a broader community involved in engaging religion with various publics, TRiP is sponsoring academic contributions in the form of essays and teaching modules from scholars and educators who think and teach about religion. The essays are organized under the themes of Difficulty, Practice, and Failure, which have been the semester-long foci of our Teaching Religion in Public Reading Group. Both modules and essays will discuss the challenges of translatability and methodology when teaching religion from diverse perspectives: ethnomusicologists, historians, literature scholars, anthropologists, and more!
In our mission to support public-facing interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research on religion, we invite you to explore these accounts, reflections, and resources.
Maggie Slaughter, 2020-2021 Public Editor for TRiP