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3. Response: Practicing Theory

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1. Title Title of document 3. Response: Practicing Theory - On the Subject of Religion
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Ian Alexander Cuthbertson; Dawson College; Canada
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) academic study of religion; Jonathan Z. Smith; method of religion; religious data; society and religion; theory of religion
5. Subject Subject classification academic study of religion
6. Description Abstract In this response I outline how the structure of religious studies programs in Canada and elsewhere communicate a particular conception of what theory is and what it is for and explain why this view of theory gets in the way of the critical approaches Dorrough Smith describes. More specifically, I argue that religious studies programs are often designed such that they frame theory either as an optional accessory or else as a tool for working with pre-existing, unique, and bounded data ('religion'). I also draw on the Universal Design for Learning framework to suggest specific pedagogical strategies that address the disconnect Dorrough Smith describes between the learning goals instructors embed in their courses and their students' expectations for religious studies courses. I argue the apparent gaps between what instructors hope to teach and what students expect to learn can be mitigated by optimizing student choice and autonomy; increasing self-relevance; and minimizing construct irrelevance in the design of our courses and assessments.

7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 04-Oct-2022
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.41070
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; On the Subject of Religion
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd