Teaching in the Global Village: Notes Towards a Religious Studies Rhetoric



The author describes her participation in a religious studies teaching workshop where she was asked to think creatively about the art of teaching, what implications result from changes in the field, and the relationship of religious studies to other fields. General conclusions endorse pedagogies that are dialogic, participatory, and experiential and invite possibilities provided by changes in the field that encourage courses that are more inclusive of marginal voices and attentive to multicultural inflections. In assessing the relationship of religious studies to other fields, the author draws on her interdisciplinary background in religion and literature to apply Aristotelian rhetoric to the interpretation of a short story, thereby providing an actual model of how disciplines can complement each other while also highlighting aspects of the pedagogical and multicultural principles endorsed by the workshop participants. The application of Aristotelian principles of logos, ethos, and pathos becomes for the workshop participants a religious studies rhetoric: a provisional model for how to interpret classroom conduct.