TeachingRoundtable New Directions and Perspectives on Teaching Religious History

AHA Session 237
Sunday, January 9, 2011: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM
Arlington Room (Marriott Boston Copley Place)
Matthew T. Herbst, University of California, San Diego

Session Abstract

Religious history provides us with a plethora of teaching options.  Yet it is commonly taught in a comparative format, avoiding the real issues and meaning. These presentations challenge us to revisit the teaching of religious history, to see how it is being done, and to use new approaches; they do so by employing religion (broadly defined) as a teaching tool. How can we learn from the architecture of sacred spaces?  How should we use sacred texts?  Is there a way to teach religious history by employing a new structural approach that goes beyond the traditional comparative approach?  Finally, what about the voices and presence of those who filled the churches but were rarely acknowledged as a part of its institutional structures?  The panel will bring each of these particular topics into a common focus so as to advance the ideas and methods that religious historians, and historians in general, can use in their teaching.  

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