5. Making Experts Curious About Their Expertise in the Introductory Course
Religion in Theory and Practice - Demystifying the Field for Burgeoning Scholars - Russell T. McCutcheon
Russell T. McCutcheon [+]
University of Alabama
Published here for the first time, this chapter revisits the choices that structure our introductory classes, doing so by reflecting on the goals that motivated my own 2007 book, Studying Religion: An Introduction. Emphasizing skills rather than data—but also recognizing that historical and ethnographic information is the necessary place where we model the use of these skills—the approach modeled here is in keeping with the broad-based skills that many faculty hope to convey to students enrolled in their lower-level, introductory courses. The implicit question of the chapter, then, is: How might one teach an introduction to the study of religion if the world religions approach is undesirable?