This week will be the most unique one since we went to online learning. I’ve asked several scholars and/or religious practitioners if they’d be willing to do interviews with me on topics they research/religions they practice. (This is the beginning of something I hope to do with some frequency, even when we ‘return’ to our ‘new normal’ after this pandemic.) My first interview was great. I talked with Dr. Joseph P. Laycock, assistant professor of religious studies at Texas State University, and the author of Speak of the Devil: How the Satanic Temple is Changing the Way We Talk About Religion, about Satanism in the United States and the two predominant groups: The Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple. My students in my ‘Religion in the United States’ class will learn about Satanism next week, so I’m excited to share this interview with them.
Today, I’m interviewing Fr. Kevin R. Daugherty, regarding the Convergence Movement, which brings together aspects of what might be consider Pentecostal spirituality with the liturgical practices found in traditions like Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism. Then I’ll talk with James F. McGrath, the Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature from Butler University, about the Christian doctrine of the Ascension.
Otherwise, the routine is taking shape. I upload assignments, meet with students using Google Meet, grade assignments, and do it again. We didn’t try synchronous learning as a response to the pandemic but it does appear likely that my summer school class, ‘The Hebrew Scriptures’, will be online and synchronous in June. So, I’m brainstorming ways to make that a great class in spite of the unfortunate circumstances.