Teaching Religion to Undergraduates in the 2020s: A Preliminary Reconnaissance

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Eugene V. Gallagher
Joanne Maquire


We survey the current landscape of teaching religion to undergraduates to imagine its contours over the next five to ten years. We follow Dee Fink’s outline of backwards design for course development to consider outside factors, the nature of the subject matter, the characteristics of learners and teachers, and issues related to particular courses, focusing on introductory and general education courses. Such courses serve students best when they are designed with broad goals, often articulated in the institutional mission. This opens new ways of conceiving of the field from the student perspective while helping teachers to attract more students and to embrace a variety of pedagogies and curricula to better serve the students they teach.

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