Monday, December 03, 2012

Not so simple

We discussed Diana Eck's contrast of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism in Theorizing Religion today, an important moment in every iteration of this class, perhaps especially for the instructor! ('08, '09) This time we thought we were getting it until I challenged people to diagram what was at issue on the board. Good thing we did! I'm not sure we figured pluralism out - it may indeed be unrepresentable in two dimensions! But it did show what very different senses students were making of it. And it showed something more. None of the students' pictures included other traditions! (So you can guess which two drawings are mine.) I guess pluralism is compelling only when you've had the unsettling, enriching experience of otherness. Should I have - could I have - offered them that experience in this class? It's one of the main objectives of next semester's "Exploring Religious Ethics."

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