Teaching as an Act of Faith: Theory and Practice in Church-Related Higher Education

Teaching as an Act of Faith: Theory and Practice in Church-Related Higher Education

Teaching as an Act of Faith: Theory and Practice in Church-Related Higher Education

Teaching as an Act of Faith: Theory and Practice in Church-Related Higher Education

Synopsis

Interest in church-related higher education increased greatly in recent years, and books and articles are available that sharpen the sense of mission and provide necessary theological and theoretical foundations for the work of church-related colleges and universities. Yet what actually happens in the classroom has been largely overlooked. Teaching as an Act of Faith is a practical guidebook on strategies to incarnate mission and epitomize theological and theoretical reflection in the classroom. In original essays, distinguished practitioners from fourteen liberal arts disciplines and Roman Catholic, Wesleyan, Anabaptist, Lutheran, and Reformed traditions demonstrate how they have been able link religious values more directly to their teaching.

Excerpt

In this book, Arlin Migliazzo and his several colleagues have collectively advanced the national conversation about the nature and the aims of church-related higher education to new levels of complexity and importance. More impressively still, they have made all of the essays, which consider serially the relationship between the Christian faith and higher learning from the vantage point of fourteen different academic disciplines, equally engaging and informative to all teacher-scholars, Christian and non-Christian alike, regardless of their fields of specialization. This is a rare achievement for an anthology.

Migliazzo's fine introductory essay, "An Odyssey of the Mind and Spirit," exemplifies what it recommends even as it provides both a framework and a model for the rest of the essays that follow it. After a brief personal narrative and a remarkably succinct historical and theoretical review of the dynamic relationship between faith and reason over the centuries, the essay moves directly to considerations of pedagogical practice. On the basis of a deeply informed survey of the hundreds of books that explore the connections and conflicts between Athens and Jerusalem from the ancient world to the present, Migliazzo rightly notes a troublesome absence in that vast literature. He remembers that when he was seeking guidance as a young teacher at a church-related college, he could find no work that provided "access to practical, tested pedagogical strategies for relating faith perspectives to teaching" in the several disciplines of the Academy. I am very glad to be able to assure the readers of Teaching as an Act of Faith: Theory and Practice in Church-Related Higher Education that Migliazzo's fourteen coauthors have now splendidly remedied that omission.

The book is very conveniently organized into four parts that coincide with the four major divisions of the Academy—the social sciences, the natural sciences, the fine arts, and the hu-

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