Thomas Pearson

2020; 1:2 3-6 The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

There are a few articles I want to especially call your attention to in this issue of the journal.

First of all we’re publishing a meta-level “Conversation on the Scholarship of Teaching,” (Pearson, Kwok, and Gallagher 2020) which was recorded (transcribed and edited) during the final session of the Wabash Center’s 2017-18 Colloquy on Writing the Scholarship of Teaching (2020b). Over the previous year, each of the Colloquy participants had been developing their own essay on a topic in the scholarship of teaching religion and theology. The Conversation begins with reflections on the scholarly peer review process, but quickly expands out to debates about the contours of the scholarship on teaching, and the value of this literature—to authors and to readers—for cultivating a successful teaching practice. Interested readers might want to also take a look at the “Conversation with Maryellen Weimer” (Weimer 2020) in the January issue, a wide ranging discussion of how the Wabash journal fits within the broad range of genres and journals that constitute the scholarship of teaching.

Secondly, I want to call your attention to the Forum on James Cone (1938-2018), the founder of black liberation theology (Editor 2020). Andrea White, a member of the journal’s editorial board and associate professor of theology and culture at Union Theological Seminary convened a panel of some of his recent students after his death in 2018. Their essays speak to his power in the classroom and the transformational impact he had on his students. Again, interested readers might want to take a look at the “Forum on the Teaching Legacy of Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon” (Kwok 2020) published by her former students in the January issue of this journal.

And then thirdly, we are delighted to be publishing three short essays on critical incidents in teaching (Pearson 2020) submitted in response to the journal’s call for papers. A “critical incident” is a memorable, significant, or unexpected moment in the classroom. Subjecting such experiences to careful critical analysis can reveal important facets of the purposes and practices of teaching. Alison Downie’s essay (2020) discusses a student’s aggressively disrespectful disruption of her classroom, which cascaded into a campus-wide controversy that got picked up by the national social media of the Alt-Right. Eunyung Lim (2020) unpacks the different cultural assumptions about language learning that inform her students’ experience in her “Greek for Ministry” classroom. And Nermeen Mouftah (2020) analyzes how, with all the attention appropriately given to Islamophobia, Islamophilia too can provide its own challenges in the classroom.

We publish three one-page Teaching Tactics in this issue. Anthony Keddie (2020) makes the case for assigning self-care journals at a public research university. Eric Thurman (2020) offers a suggestion on how to give students traction in the “definition of religion” discussion. And Kent Eilers (2020) describes a clever method for teaching virtue theory through what he calls “formation experiments” that give students embodied familiarity with virtue theory’s approach.

At the top of the table of contents we feature three articles that together canvas a broad variety of teaching contexts and purposes. There’s an article on using avatars in an undergraduate course on Early Christianity (by Laura Dingeldein, Jeffrey Wheatley, and Lily Stewart [2020]). There’s an article on teaching information literacy, co-authored by a professor and librarian (Marianne Delaporte Kabir and Sanjyot Pia Walawalker [2020]), applying a theory of “metaliteracy” that views students as creators as well as consumers of information. And there’s a case study by Andrew R. H. Thompson (2020) of a hybrid online-residential program, which is particularly apt for the “hybrid” bi-vocational priests and deacons who attend the program while continuing in their current vocations (and are thus often unable to commit to full-time residential study).

And finally, we’re happy to be publishing reviews of books on a wide range of recent publications on teaching and learning in higher education, with a special focus on theological education and religious studies whenever they become available. Once these reviews are published in the journal, they also become available on the Wabash Center’s website (2020a) where they are integrated with the book reviews we’ve been publishing for the past twenty years and linked-to from our vast teaching resources collection (Wabash Center 2020c).


Dingeldein, Laura, Jeffrey Wheatley, and Lily Stewart. 2020. “Historical Thinking with Avatars in an Undergraduate Course on Early Christianity.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 7-20.

Downie, Alison. 2020. “Who Speaks When?” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 41-48.

Editor. 2020. “Introduction to the Forum on Dr. James H. Cone as Teacher and Mentor.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 79-80.

Eilers, Kent. 2020. “Teaching Virtue Theory Experientially.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 107.

Kabir, Marianne Delaporte, and Sanjyot Pia Walawalkar. 2020. “Teaching Metaliteracy in the Religious Studies Classroom.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 21-30.

Keddie, Anthony. 2020. “A Self-Care Journal for the Religious Studies Classroom.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 105.

Kwok, Pui Lan. 2020. “Introduction: The Teaching Legacy of Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (1): 85-6.

Lim, Eunyung. 2020. “Teaching ‘Greek for Ministry’ in a Multicultural Classroom.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 49-54.

Mouftah, Nermeen. 2020. “‘I Want to Love Islam, I Really Do, But . . .’ : Islamophilic Classrooms in Islamophobic Times.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 55-62.

Pearson, Thomas. 2020. “Introduction to the Special Section on Critical Incidents in Teaching.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 39-40.

Pearson, Thomas, Kwok Pui Lan, and Eugene V. Gallagher. 2020. “Conversation on the Scholarship of Teaching.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 63-78.

Thompson, Andrew R. H. 2020. “Combining Accessibility and Pedagogical Effectiveness in a Hybrid Theological Education Program: A Case Study.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 31-38.

Thurman, Eric. 2020. “What We Talk about When We Talk about ‘Religion.’” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (2): 106.

Wabash Center. 2020a. Book Reviews.

Wabash Center. 2020b. Colloquy on Writing the Scholarship of Teaching in Theology and Religion.

Wabash Center. 2020c. Scholarship on Teaching Collection.

Weimer, Maryellen, Eugene V. Gallagher, Kwok Pui Lan, and Thomas Pearson. 2020. “A Conversation with Maryellen Weimer.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching 1 (1): 47-57.