Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Pedagogy

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2023) | Viewed by 5783

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of English, Modern Languages and Philosophy, Carroll University, 100 N East Ave, Waukesha, WI 53186, USA
Interests: comparative philosophy; comparative religions; medieval European religious and philosophical traditions; Tibetan religions and Mahāyāna buddhist philosophy; comparative mythology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue engages with questions of undergraduate pedagogy, and teaching and learning in the context of the comparative, cross-cultural study of hagiographical material. It arises out of the work that a growing number of scholars have been collaboratively developing since 2016, which was first formalized in the 2020 Special Issue "Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Theory and Method" and then in the ongoing Comparative Hagiology Seminar at the American Academy of Religion.

As such, this Special Issue offers, first and foremost, a venue to explore ways in which our comparative and collaborative approach to the study of hagiographical material and practice can be brought into the classroom. Conversely, it also brings us to consider how our professional experience as educators informs our approaches to scholarship. Eventually, this volume will offer insights into processes, dynamics and benefits of collaborative teaching and learning, as well as collaborative writing; discussions of best practices and pedagogical strategies; and the identification of shared approaches and methodologies to presenting and examining hagiographic content in undergraduate classrooms.

To this end, we ask contributors to consider, among other critical questions, the following overarching issues:

  • What is the value of teaching the comparative study of hagiographical material in a global perspective?
  • How may this be done comparatively and collaboratively, and to what benefit?
  • How do we make the material, theories, and methods of collaboration and comparison engaging for students of all levels?
  • How can we do so by applying culturally relevant pedagogy?

Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Massimo A. Rondolino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • comparative hagiology
  • hagiography
  • saints
  • pedagogy
  • teaching
  • collaborative scholarship

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 206 KiB  
Article
Saints and Celebrities
by Kathleen M. Self
Religions 2024, 15(3), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030338 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 613
Abstract
This article offers a pedagogical approach to introducing undergraduate students to hagiology by comparing medieval sanctity to modern celebrity. The bodies of saints and celebrities are important loci for the transmission of sanctity or celebrity from a person to the public and for [...] Read more.
This article offers a pedagogical approach to introducing undergraduate students to hagiology by comparing medieval sanctity to modern celebrity. The bodies of saints and celebrities are important loci for the transmission of sanctity or celebrity from a person to the public and for the continuity of identity. Examples include St. Faith, St. Cuthbert, Kim Kardashian, and Marilyn Monroe. Using a comparative method allows students who are non-religious to better apprehend the unfamiliar practices and beliefs around the cult of saints and relics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Pedagogy)
8 pages, 208 KiB  
Article
The Oneiro- and the Hagio-: Teaching about Dreams from the Standpoint of Comparative Hagiology
by Christopher Jensen
Religions 2024, 15(3), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030332 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 614
Abstract
This paper explores the potentially fruitful interplay between a set of practical and theoretical approaches developed to teach post-secondary students about accounts of dreams and of exemplars, in cases where these phenomena have been deemed significant by specific religious discourse communities. Incorporating insights [...] Read more.
This paper explores the potentially fruitful interplay between a set of practical and theoretical approaches developed to teach post-secondary students about accounts of dreams and of exemplars, in cases where these phenomena have been deemed significant by specific religious discourse communities. Incorporating insights from his participation in the Comparative Hagiology group, the author suggests—in particular—that the expanded perspective on hagiography proposed by Rondolino, Hollander, and others can serve as a fruitful vantage from which to survey both of these phenomena in the classroom, revealing some intriguing correspondences between them. The author concludes by proposing some ways that the comparative hagiological classroom could be a particularly productive learning environment, and one that directly addresses some of the challenges of contemporary post-secondary education (from both the instructors’ and students’ perspectives). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Pedagogy)
11 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
Comparative Methods for Teaching Contemporary and Ancient Saints
by Todd E. French and Mohammed Forero Bucheli
Religions 2024, 15(2), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020238 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 743
Abstract
This paper argues that a comparative study of saints is not only a useful classroom tool for historians and religionists, but an exceptionally powerful locus of pedagogical insight and cultural understanding. By reframing contemporary consumptive patterns, media representations, and power discourses as religious [...] Read more.
This paper argues that a comparative study of saints is not only a useful classroom tool for historians and religionists, but an exceptionally powerful locus of pedagogical insight and cultural understanding. By reframing contemporary consumptive patterns, media representations, and power discourses as religious vectors of saintliness, the professor has an opportunity to explore and assess cultural values, rituals, beliefs, worldviews, communities, traditions, and meaning making in the contemporary college student’s world. By acknowledging the dangers and possibilities of the category of saint while reframing the ascetical impact on developing subjectivities, we propose six pedagogical examples of how this might best be deployed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Pedagogy)
8 pages, 192 KiB  
Article
Kabir and Pedagogy: Teaching the Politics of Religion through the Hagiography of an Indian Saint
by Patton Burchett
Religions 2024, 15(2), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020155 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 761
Abstract
This essay discusses the virtues of hagiology-driven teaching and the pedagogical value of the saint in the religious studies classroom, focusing on how a series of class assignments and activities centered on the Indian devotional saint Kabir function in an undergraduate introductory-level religious [...] Read more.
This essay discusses the virtues of hagiology-driven teaching and the pedagogical value of the saint in the religious studies classroom, focusing on how a series of class assignments and activities centered on the Indian devotional saint Kabir function in an undergraduate introductory-level religious studies course to effectively engage student learning, and develop students’ understanding of the politics of religion and the crucial interplay of affect, memory, and storytelling in religious life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Pedagogy)
10 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
Making It Matter: Hagiology in a 21st-Century Classroom
by Nikolas O. Hoel
Religions 2024, 15(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15010139 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 929
Abstract
In the early twenty-first century, the humanities are facing attacks on their value. At the same time, colleges and universities in the United States are pressured to retain students as funding models have shifted and become more dependent on tuition dollars, at least [...] Read more.
In the early twenty-first century, the humanities are facing attacks on their value. At the same time, colleges and universities in the United States are pressured to retain students as funding models have shifted and become more dependent on tuition dollars, at least in public institutions of higher education. The two go hand in hand because, in this environment, faculty members need to justify what they teach as being relevant to their students, and research has shown that students are more likely to thrive and strive when they see themselves in the curriculum. This is particularly true at Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving Institutions. This essay is based on the following question: how do we help students recognize that hagiological texts are relevant to them in a modern world in order to meet both aims? It provides the Life of Anskar as a case study to show that when hagiology is read and analyzed in the classroom in accordance with principles of culturally relevant pedagogy, through comparison and the co-creation of knowledge, the texts provide a way for students to better understand themselves, their world, and the possibility for social justice; in other words, they, the students, matter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Pedagogy)
9 pages, 245 KiB  
Article
Thomas of Cantimpré’s Hagiographies: Working with a Scientific-Historical Comparative Methodology in the Classroom
by Scott Harrower
Religions 2024, 15(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15010061 - 2 Jan 2024
Viewed by 704
Abstract
This paper firstly describes how my teaching context and student body shapes the methodological and motivational resources that I use in the first three weeks of a section in comparative hagiographical studies. This practical example demonstrates the importance of being conversant with both [...] Read more.
This paper firstly describes how my teaching context and student body shapes the methodological and motivational resources that I use in the first three weeks of a section in comparative hagiographical studies. This practical example demonstrates the importance of being conversant with both our local learning context and the international scholarly comparative community. The second part of this essay outlines my methodological thinking as I propose a historical-scientific example of hagiographical comparison to my students, by employing taxonomies from psychological science for the sake of making helpful comparative observations between thirteenth-century hagiographies. The third part of the essay describes how I ensure that employing a particular psychological paradigm—such as “religious and spiritual struggles”—is appropriate to a given historical context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Pedagogy)
8 pages, 228 KiB  
Article
Hailing and Hallowing: Persian Hagiographies, Interpellation, and Learning How to Read
by William E. B. Sherman
Religions 2023, 14(12), 1534; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14121534 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 747
Abstract
This essay discusses the pedagogical value of hagiology by examining how medieval Persian hagiographies can be used to explore the concept of “interpellation”: the process by which individuals are constituted as subjects in particular ideological systems. This essay uses an analysis of Rumi’s [...] Read more.
This essay discusses the pedagogical value of hagiology by examining how medieval Persian hagiographies can be used to explore the concept of “interpellation”: the process by which individuals are constituted as subjects in particular ideological systems. This essay uses an analysis of Rumi’s anecdote, “Moses and the Shepherd”, to demonstrate how hagiological approaches are valuable not just in understanding how a saint is constructed in a particular historical and cultural context but also how an audience is constructed and interpellated. The essay then introduces a pedagogical exercise that connects an analysis of Islamic hagiographies with an exploration of how students are interpellated with modern subjectivities in our contemporary ideological systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Pedagogy)
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