2015 Annual Conference: A Focus on Teaching

Our mission statement begins with: “The mission of the Religious Education Association is to create opportunities for exploring and advancing the interconnected practices of scholarship, research, teaching, and leadership…” At the 2015 Annual Conference we will begin with a focus on the practice of teaching. A concern for teaching is one of the most distinctive aspects of religious education of an academic field.
Emilie M. Townes, Dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School and E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society, will begin the conversation. Emilie is also an ordained American Baptist clergywoman. Drawing insight from her academic teaching as well as her pastoral preaching and teaching, Emilie will offer a reflection of how we can teach imaginatively, and how we can encourage students to imagine a more just world through our teaching. Emilie will then discuss the imagination and teaching with Thomas H. Groome, Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College; and Laury Silvers, Instructor in the Department for the Study of Religion and the Department for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto. Tom Groome is a senior scholar in the field of religious education. Laury Silvers is a well-established scholar in the study of Sufism, the Early Islamic Intellectual Tradition, women and gender in Islam, and progressive Islam in North America.
The conversation with Emilie, Tom, and Laury should prove to be a rich ecumenical, inter-religious, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and inter-professional dialogue about imagination and teaching that invites and inspires us to think about teaching and religious education in new ways.

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