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Coffee with McCutcheon: A Conversation about Language, Pedagogy and Critical Pluralism

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Chapter Summary

Russell McCutcheon has had monumental effect on the theoretical and methodological study of religion. His works have since shaped a generation of scholars interested in the craft of being a scholar of religion. This article gives a glimpse of a young McCutcheon seeking to answer how we align our scholarly commitments with our pedagogical objectives. McCutcheon offers us a glimpse of the teacher at work. Interrogating not just the content and arguments presented within but the very language his students seek to make sense of a semester's worth of readings in early Christian literature. The article discusses the problem of language in the methodological study of religion. The various considerations for teaching and research are also discussed. McCutcheon's focus on the particulars of a religious tradition allows ethnographers, along with scholars in other disciplines, to take seriously the practices, beliefs and notions of identity specific to their subjects of study.

Keywords: Christian literature; ethnographers; McCutcheon; pedagogical objectives



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