Teaching Religion in the Deep South

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Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning


The purpose of this paper is to generate discussion about the teaching and learning sociology and religious studies using the "study in depth" method. In addition, the author shares with readers how one course, and a specific set of readings contributed to a department's overall plan for study in depth in sociology. Study in depth is defined as the comprehension of "a complex structure of knowledge" (Association of American Colleges). It uses a multidisciplinary approach that is vital to teaching and learning sociology, religious studies, and other subjects. Sociology of Religion at this university is an upper-division elective for sociology majors and minors, religious studies minors (there is no religious studies major), and general studies majors (concentration in culture and society; and in religious studies). Introduction to Sociology is a prerequisite for Sociology of Religion. Since this course is not required, the majority of students who enroll in it do so because they have a genuine interest in it. Monographs can be incorporated into a variety of social science and religious studies courses to facilitate study in depth. The use of research monographs can foster deep learning and enable students to become highly informed learners who are capable of critical thinking.


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