Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 38, No 1-2 (2019)

Balancing Dichotomies, Opening Conversations: A Reflection on Michel Desjardins’ Contribution to the Study of Religion in the Classroom and Beyond

Philip L. Tite
Issued Date: 14 May 2019


Having known Michel since the first stages of his career, when he was engaged in the study of early Christianity, I have seen him exemplify the role of teacher-scholar for those of us who have attempted to follow in his footsteps. His approach has been to empower students by creating conversations, to balance opposing positions and to allow students to come to their own conclusions (rather than arriving at the “right answer”). This approach not only occurs in the classroom, but also within the academy. Indeed, I propose that Michel’s role as a researcher is largely an extension of his role as a teacher, or co-learner. In this paper, I explore some of the pedagogical implications and lessons that I have learned from Michel’s example as a teacher-scholar. Specifically, I discuss attachment theory, student empowerment, and collaborative pedagogy.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.38708


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