Sacred texts play formative roles in all human cultures. They have the ability to shape values, to define human experiences, to orient communities, and to form personal and social identities. How are sacred texts read, and to what uses are they put? How do individuals and/or communities encounter and experience sacred texts? What does it mean in our globalized context for people of different faiths, or of no faith, to understand and meaningfully engage one another’s traditions?
The authoritative weight given to sacred texts demands careful interpretive sensibilities and the need to connect theological discussions within broader areas of human experience. As a scholar of religion, in all my courses I seek to instill in my students an interpretive disposition of critical self-reflection that equips them to think broadly and creatively about sacred texts and human experiences.
For the past five years I have taught in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University, primarily in the areas of New Testament and Early Christianity, though I have also offered courses in Theology and Western Religions. My students at McGill include undergraduate majors/minors in either Religious Studies or Theology, non-majors/minors taking Religious Studies electives, and seminarians who are training for ministry through one of the affiliated theological colleges (Anglican/Episcopal, Presbyterian, and United Church of Canada). As one would expected, this diversity of students yields an array of personal and confessional perspectives, all of which enrich the classroom experience.
Courses I teach at McGill University fall within the following categories: