Title

The Baltimore Mural Project: An approach to threshold concepts in religious studies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Teaching Theology & Religion

Publication Date

2018

Date Added

2022-05-16

Abstract

The Baltimore Mural Project (BMP) seeks to connect religious studies education to the growing literature on threshold concepts in order to address bottleneck areas in student learning. The project is designed for undergraduate service courses comprised of mostly non-majors: for example, world religions. Students in these courses often struggle to understand and apply the discipline's unique approaches to the study of religion (i.e. its threshold concepts). Rather than merely memorize certain facts about a religious tradition's myths [or world forming stories], rituals [or embodied disclosures], materials, and so on... students are asked to apply threshold concepts related to religion, art, and the social good to the study of murals in Baltimore. Through a series of project elements (including: field work, photography, digital geomapping, and quantitative, qualitative, and archival research) the BMP helps students who struggle with threshold concepts in religious studies by creatively connecting the more conventional aspects of world religions courses to social justice issues related to mural art in Baltimore. By experientially helping students to make these connections, they are able to find creative routes through otherwise hindering barriers to their learning in religious studies.

DOI

10.1111/teth.12440

Keywords

Education

Disciplines

Geography

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