Student & Faculty Priorities in Religion Courses

Students and faculty enrolled in introductory religious studies courses disagree over their priorities for those courses. That is the conclusion of a study by Barbara Walvoord at Notre Dame, and described in this story in Inside Higher Education. What struck me was the student emphasis on discussion and their desire for specific facts. Although the study focuses on different courses, I've seen some similar things in my own courses-- including Psychology of Religion. Students love to discuss the material, they want information about specific religions, and they sometimes seem to prefer those goals over the application of psychology to religious belief & behavior.

The article seems quite relevant for faculty teaching psychology of religion. At least, it reflects my experience with teaching the course. If you teach the course, how well does it describe your experience? If you are a student, what are your goals for the Psych. of Religion course?

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