Teaching for Transformation: Insights from Fiji, India, South Africa, and Jamaica



Abstract.  How can teaching and living abroad impact our teaching in North America? This article explores how what I do teaching religion and ethics to undergraduates at Texas Christian University has been influenced by twelve years of teaching in the two-thirds world. It is structured in terms of three insights that correlate with what I call the past, present, and future dimensions of ethics, respectively. First, we need to begin where our students are – taking their contexts seriously. Second, we should expose them to the moral and religious experience of others, so that they might be pulled by those others toward broader perspectives. Third, we should challenge them to envision new ways of living, including new self-understandings and images of society. Drawing on examples of how I use these insights in courses at TCU, I contend that we can best promote transformation in our students by holding these three insights in creative tension.