Religion & Philosophy Department

Lebanon Valley College

Teaching and Learning About Religion

I just received an email alerting me to the fact that September is “Teaching and Learning Month” at the American Academy of Religion.  The celebration involves the naming of the recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award (congratulations to Marth Reineke of the University of Northern Iowa) and a national survey being conducted by the AAR about the teaching of religion.  It also includes a useful bibliography for any of you interested in the current state of higher education in the U.S., and the particular role of Religious Studies within the higher education landscape:

  • Arum, Richard, and Josipa Roksa. Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2011.
  • Association of American Colleges and Universities. College Learning for a New Global Century. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2007.
  • Nussbaum, Martha. Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012.
  • Prothero, Stephen. Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and Doesn’t. New York, NY: HarperOne, 2008.

Our students here at LVC should already be familiar with this book by Stephen Prothero.  It has been an assigned text in REL 110 for the past several years.  A quick glance at the AAC&U link above might look familiar as well.  LVC has fashioned its general education program according to the recommendations made by the AAC&U.  And when it comes to the core competencies in general education–things such as critical inquiry and analysis, ethical reasoning, intercultural competence, oral and written communication–these are precisely the sorts of learning outcomes that are interwoven throughout our Religion & Philosophy curriculum.

The AAR provides one more helpful list of references–specifically, these are books to help students make the case for the value of the liberal arts education they receive in such disciplines as Religion and Philosophy:

  • Brooks, Katharine. You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career. New York, NY: Viking Press, 2009.
  • Curran, Sheila, and Suzanne Greenwald. Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2006.
  • Nadler, Burton Jay. Liberal Arts Power. Lawrenceville, NJ: Peterson’s Publishing, 1989.

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