Teaching Religion in a Secular Environment

This little diversion of a thread was going to be a simply one-post on the talk I’ll be giving today to my undergraduate Introduction to the New Testament class, where I spill the beans about what I personally believe and why.  But it’s turned into a four-post mini-thread on my views of the separation of church and state. So far it’s been all background – how my twelve years of higher education were all done in Christian confessional contexts, not ...

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Back to School: Graduate Studies

Another couple of posts on teaching.

As I indicated, I teach one undergraduate and one graduate course a semester. Teaching undergraduates is a passion of mine. I love doing it. These are nineteen year olds who are inquisitive, interested, and interesting. I enjoy lecturing to a crowd like that, figuring out what can make complicated material intriguing and compelling, keeping them attentive, helping them understand such important topics Some of my colleagues find teaching undergraduates a real chore; others find it ...

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My Start in Teaching

I’ve mentioned briefly what it’s like to teach at a major research university, with large undergraduate classes. I’ll have more to say about that soon. For now, I should get to the point of why I raised it in the first place. But it’ll take a couple of posts; my starting and ending point for these posts was / will be to contrast my teaching situation with others that I could have found myself in, but didn’t. And to get ...

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Being on Leave

As I may have mentioned on the blog already, I am on academic leave this entire year. Most places call that a sabbatical, but in North Carolina sabbatical is a four-letter word. The idea here is that since we are state-employees and, well, other state-employees don’t get time off from their day job to do their research – so why should professors? Interesting point.

But of course for professors at research universities, it is all about the research.

When I ...

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The Work of a Professional Scholar 4: Undergraduate Courses

The principal work of a professor, of course, is to teach! Different colleges and universities have different requirements and expectations for their faculty. At many small colleges, professors teach four or even five courses a semester. Rarely can a person teach that much and still produce substantial (or much of any!) research, so that professors in those contexts are usually handicapped when it comes to publishing scholarship in the form of books and articles. Research universities, on the other hand, ...

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