Beth W. Baldwin, Ph.D. (bobaldwi@HAMLET.UNCG.EDU)
Thu, 8 Aug 1996 13:08:08 -0400

On Thu, 8 Aug 1996, Nick Carbone wrote:

> Maybe I'll ask each student to bring in a religious text of their choice,
> whether from a holy book (Bible, Koran) or teachings of a philosopher
> they find that gives them religious or personal guidance. Then I'll ask
> them to write their interpretation of the piece. They'll do it once,
> just using their own wits and habits. I want to see this version to get
> a sense of their dogmaticity. We've all noticed that first year students
> come into classes and often write very opiniated essays that brook no
> deviance or questioning of their premises or principles. So I figure
> their interpretations, or exegiseseseseses, might reflect that, what they
> are predisposed to.
> Then I'll ask them to swap essays and have their peers read it by asking
> the seven questions appended below.
> Then I'll ask them to redo the interpretation of the passage using the
> seven questions.

This is a wonderful idea Nick! I think I may "borrow" that idea from you
myself. Actually, even though I'm in the buckle of the Bible belt, I
encounter that much trouble with students wanting to cite
Biblical/religious authority. It happens *some*, but it's not
problematic. Maybe one reason is that we carefully define "ourselves" as
audience during the first few class meetings, going over our
characteristics as a group and talking about how to best reach *us*
rhetorically. During their characterizations, it doesn't take long to
discover that we don't all have the same faith or religious orientation,
thus we conclude that we cannot effectively appeal to a specific spiritual


Beth Baldwin, Ph.D. *
Office of Continuing Education *
University of North Carolina at Greensboro *
Greensboro, NC 27412-5001 *
910-334-5140 *