Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Comparative Theology in the Millennial Classroom: Hybrid Identities, Negotiated Boundaries


Chapter Abstract:

On the face of it, John Henry Newman (1801-1890) and contemporary students of what is called the millennial generation make an incongruous combination. Nevertheless, this essay enlists Newman to make the case that recent generational developments, often described as disaffiliation or post- denominationalism, put comparative theologians in an epistemologically advantageous position to teach religion and theology to contemporary students. Newman’s categories of “notional” and “real” apprehension and assent help to articulate how this might work in twenty-first- century classrooms.

Book Summary:

This volume explores the twenty-first century classroom as a uniquely intergenerational space of religious disaffiliation, and questions about how our work in the classroom can be, and is being, re-imagined for the new generation. The culturally hybrid identity of Millennials shapes their engagement with religious "others" on campus and in the classroom, pushing educators of comparative theology to develop new pedagogical strategies that leverage ways of seeing and interacting with their teachers and classmates. Reflecting on religious traditions such as Islam, Judaism, African Traditional Religions, Hinduism, Christianity, and agnosticism/atheism, this volume theorizes the theological outcomes of current pedagogies and the shifting contours of comparative theological discourse.



Document Version



This is an accepted manuscript, provided in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. To purchase the entire volume, see the publisher's website.

Permission documentation on file.



Place of Publication

New York, NY