Wednesday, December 10, 2008

E. P. Sanders and Moody Smith Reflect on Teaching

The latest edition of our Graduate Program in Religion Fall Newsletter features a real treat, reflections from Ed Sanders and Moody Smith on their experiences of teaching. The pieces are taken from a recent talk given at a lunch organized by the graduate students here:

GPR Newsletter Fall 2008 (PDF)

E.P. Sanders's piece, headed "Teaching and Learning", begins on page 3 and Moody Smith's, under the heading "Religion Graduate Students Luncheon", begins on p. 6. I strongly recommend them to you. Here is a quotation from Ed Sanders's piece to whet your appetite:
I shall briefly explain two of my efforts to get people actually to learn what is on the pages of the New Testament. Perhaps it should go without saying that this is a difficult task, but I shall nevertheless say something about the problem. The more time students have spent in church the more they think that the text consists of morals that are immediately applicable to themselves and that all the words meant then what they mean now. In fact, the worldviews of the biblical authors are not our worldviews, and it is difficult for people to comprehend things that they cannot fit into their own mental universe. It is in some ways easier for people to learn about an unknown religion than about their own. Now for my two efforts . . .


Bill Victor said...

As I have taught hermeneutics at two evangelical online seminaries, I really resonated with this quote from Dr. Sanders. It is indeed a struggle at times. But I love the challenge. Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for drawing our attention to these comments, for I used your link to read both statements and found them absolutely charming and fun! Frank