Traditions of Swift Hall: Building a Teaching Career in Constructive Studies
Wednesday, May 24, 3:00-4:30 pm, Swift 3rd Floor Lecture Hall
In the first installment in a series of conferences engaging “The Tradition(s) of Swift Hall,” which gathers the community of Divinity School, present and past, and scholars from different institutions in a journey of critical self-reflection, this first conference on “Constructive Studies in the Academic Study of Religion” will focus on the traditions and unanswered questions that have emerged out of the interaction among theology, philosophy of religions, and religious ethics.
The conference begins with a Craft of Teaching session featuring Professor Tal Lewis (Brown University) Professor Bruce Ellis Benson (Loyola Marymount University), and Professor Sarah Fredericks (Divinity School), who will lead a conversation on the special challenges and opportunities of an early career in constructive studies (e.g. in theology, ethics, or philosophy of religion).
After briefly introducing their own career trajectories, Professors Lewis, Benson, and Fredericks will discuss some of the following issues, and others, with graduate student attendees: How does institutional context inflected the ways in which our work is articulated as “constructive” or calibrated to different audiences? How can a career as an educator be built specifically upon training in constructive studies at the Divinity School? How might this academic formation converge or conflict with different educational environments, specifically in terms of its constructive valances? What specific or distinctive skills or mindsets are we hoping to cultivate in our students? How does the constructive study of religion fit into the aims of a liberal arts education or into the goals of a university more broadly? What are possible ground rules or orienting commitments for responsible undergraduate courses in constructive studies?
All are welcome, regardless of their participation in the conference more generally. Refreshments will be available.
See our full Winter 2017 lineup here.