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

By Arlin C. Migliazzo | Go to book overview

Conclusion: A Prudent
Synergy: Pedagogy for
Mind and Spirit

Arlin C. Migliazzo

FOR MOST OF WESTERN HISTORY, the central purpose of this book would have been questioned as misguided or ignored as redundant. Until the recent past, Christian educators from the fifth century forward would not have perceived a need for a volume of disciplinary essays linking academic content to faith perspectives. General cultural norms derived from the dominant Christian ethos made unnecessary any explicit exposition of distinctly religious themes and values in academic subjects. Educators of a more naturalistic bent, whether in Plato's Academy, the Parisian salons, or the latter twentieth-century ivies, would be less than enthusiastic about the ability of anyone committed to a religious community to participate (much less encourage students to participate) in the unfettered pursuit of knowledge. For them, membership in either community—the academic or the religious—precluded vital membership in the other. In contradistinction to critics of either stripe, the contributors to this anthology have demonstrated both the necessity of thoughtful intentionality on the part of Christian educators and the fallacy of epistemologically dichotomous thinking and teaching. They each point us toward a holistic pedagogy of mind and spirit—a pedagogical practice that values both critical rationalism and theistic authority by embracing such pairings as the empirically verifiable objective and the personally verifiable subjective, disciplinary content and keystone ethical values, intellectual knowledge and emotional/spiritual wisdom, logical reason and

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