Religion and Art Appreciation
I think some students expect a religion class to be like an art appreciation class—some of them seem to think that what I’ll do is expose them to a lot of beautiful things that I’ll try to get them to appreciate by the end of the term.
Of course this is not what I do, and I’m of the opinion that the “appreciation” model is not pedagogically sound. What legitimate academic goal would it serve? I can see how it might be integrated into a liberal “can’t we all just get along” normative pedagogy, but that approach tends to be intolerably at odds with academic rigor (see “Our ‘Special Promise’ as Teachers” in Russell McCutcheon’s Critics Not Caretakers for why that approach might be problematic).