SWCCL*: Creating a Questing Faith in the Lit Classroom

In live blogging this conference, I am following the conventions for conference blogging.

Carole Logan Carroll
Lubbock Christian University
“The Bible and the Qur-an: Creating a Questing Faith in the Literature Classroom”

Showed pictures of granddaughter, Madison.

Come at students differently when teaching sacred texts.
Experiences and things you see in classroom.
Teach sections of sacred texts.
My point is to look at these at literary texts, but in a way that will hopefully get them out of their bubble. Want them to start questing.

“I expect you all to be independent, innovative, critical thinkers who will do exactly as I say…” – move past this model

Beginnings:
Sophomore lit class students are confused
Interest and delight from Bible majors, because have already read some of this
Most seem uncomfortable or even wary
That is a good thing.

Questing faith begins in discomfort.
My personal pedagogical philosophy hinges on creating “possibility spaces for generating and testing ideas” (Holmes Rolston, III) and is thus founded on the very notion of questing.

When the secular collides with the sacred, non-bible majors are given the opportunity to grapple with a well-known story from two quite divergent texts, they experience a naturally occurring questing faith outside of a regular Bible class.

Old questions, new answers

Middle-ings:
Begin a questing faith for them.
the readings
PowerPoint
Have everything online with Moodle.
2-3 page journal entry comparing or contrasting the two versions

Presenter doesn’t talk first. Has them look at the PP and read.
“My goal is to help begin rather than end a questing faith.”

Several times within the reading, she interrupts and says, “Look at me. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

Endings:
Students don’t know that Jesus is in the Qur’an
Not aware that the Muslim faith is Abrahamic

They are complexed and I do a happy dance.

Class Discussions:
The changing face of Jesus—‘Breck girl with pretty hair and blue eyes,’ to other images, older and newer, but different for the students.

Proof-texting:
This is a problem the students don’t see.
Matt. 10:34 and Sura 4:34
–women who don’t mind can be beaten Sura 4:34
Don’t think that I came to bring peace, but a sword. Matt. 10:34
Don’t take one thing out and use it for proof.

Myth-making: Core
Which is true? How do they find them?

Story-telling and oral tradition
Story-telling main point in class.
Talk about it a lot.
How did they get so different?
Dev. of stories over time

PowerPoint gives background of the three monotheistic faiths.

Tradition and truth
Difference between what they know and what is true.

OT God and Allah
Is Allah the OT God? Where do they converge/separate?

Let the questions come up.
Sneeches version… (No one getting anywhere.)

Bible majors who will begin a discussion that get rest of student’s involved.

Walked in class. “Look up 5 Pillars of Islam.”
They are going to have to read through other things.
Exposure to a religious system they aren’t aware of before.

First pillar: One God, Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.
– Jesus is a Muslim prophet.
– …
Second pillar: Prayer.

Students are amazed because they seem very familiar.
Can’t tell if those are OT or from Qur’an.

Very first Sura that talks about God sounds just like something from the Bible.

I don’t give them the answers. I don’t have all the answers.
I do know what I believe and why and I want them to know what they believe and why.
I’ve been teaching this class since the late 90s.
These two texts seem to create this idea of questing faith.
I am very blessed to have the opportunity to teach this in the classroom that isn’t a Bible class.

*SWCCL = Southwest Conference of Christianity and Literature

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