Description: Studying religion and theology opens up the world for undergraduates, and can serve as a gateway to other disciplines such as history, art, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology, making for a truly diverse and interesting classroom experience. Writing for these classes, however, can be especially challenging because exposure to this area of the academy is often new and the level of religion literacy low. As with any scholarly discipline, writing is an integral part of the learning process, one that allows students to engage with the subject matter in an organized, sustained, and independent manner. Developing the skills to write respectfully and well about all faiths, then, is crucial not simply to getting a better grade but to enabling deeper learning.
In A Guide for Writing about Theology and Religion, Mari Rapela Heidt coaches students on how to write a strong paper and on those things that one must be particularly mindful of when writing on religion: how to correctly cite texts from various religious traditions, including the Bible and the Qur’an; how to be inclusive in language; and how to properly refer to people and rituals. Additional chapters review the basics necessary for all good scholarly writing: how to cite sources and how to avoid common grammar, punctuation, and usage errors. The appendices provide additional helpful resources, including a useful paper-writing checklist for students. Particularly important tips and warnings are marked throughout the book with flag icons, making the guide a friendly, easy resource to consult again and again.
Even the best students can improve upon their writing skills to become better thinkers and more effective communicators. A Guide for Writing about Theology and Religion gives them the means.
Subjects: Methods, Other Methods
Review by Margaret E. Ramey
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Citation: Margaret E. Ramey, review of Mari Rapela Heidt, A Guide for Writing about Theology and Religion, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).
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