Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies

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Judith Simmer-Brown, Fran Grace
SUNY Press, Aug 1, 2011 - Education - 305 pages
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Meditation and the Classroom inventively articulates how educators can use meditation to educate the whole student. Notably, a number of universities have initiated contemplative studies options and others have opened contemplative spaces. This represents an attempt to address the inner life. It is also a sign of a new era, one in which the United States is more spiritually diverse than ever before. Examples from university classrooms and statements by students indicate benefits include increased self-awareness, creativity, and compassion.

The religious studies scholars who have contributed to this book often teach about meditation, but here they include reflections on how meditation has affected them and their teaching. Until recently, though, even many religious studies professors would find sharing meditation experiences, let alone teaching meditation techniques, a breach of disciplinary and academic protocols. The value of teaching meditation and teaching about meditation is discussed. Ethical issues such as pluralism, respect, qualifications, power and coercion, and avoiding actual or perceived proselytization are also examined. While methods for religious studies are emphasized, the book provides valuable guidance for all those interested in this endeavor.
 

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Contents

II THE CONTEMPLATIVE PROFESSOR
45
III CRITICAL ISSUES IN CONTEMPLATIVE TEACHING
105
IV CONTEMPLATIVEBASED COURSES
139
V CONTEMPLATIVE EXERCISES FOR THE CLASSROOM
177
Does It Work? Evaluations from Our Students
227
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
251
INDEX
267
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About the author (2011)

Judith Simmer-Brown is Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University and the author of Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism.

Fran Grace is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Redlands and the author of Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life.

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