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Thread: Opinions

  1. #1
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    Default Opinions

    An English teacher had an essay project for students that was historical in nature. The teacher told the kid he would have a hard time getting legitimate source material for a historical Jesus and didn't think this was a good idea. This is partially true for a seventh grade student to be sure.

    The very devout Christian teachers were offended, and there was an interesting conversation in the lunch room (I came in late sadly). This time I sided with the devout Christians. Jesus - from a historical perspective - is a legitimate subject. As a teacher I would allow it as long as it fit in with the paradigm of the project. Furthermore, I would help the kid research the historical perspective as Jesus, and Christianity, are obvious legitimate cultural and historical subjects (to say the least). That is the point I made to the butt hurt Christians in the room, who to their credit, never went over the line in what should be taught, only that they were annoyed that a religious figure was denied outright because of a bias.

    An aside.... the teacher in question was raised by his mom and partner. The mom later died and the partner didn't get custody, leaving him to be raised in a less than ideal situation with devout family who were not very kind to the memory of his mother, nor him. To the credit of the devout teachers, -though a couple gave the "look" of disapproval - none said anything specifically.

    This thread may cover too much but are there any opinions or observations?
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  2. #2
    Olympic Champ therick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions

    I think the way you handled it was perfectly legitimate.

    He was a person who has had great effect on mankind for the last 2000 years. Even if one doesn't believe that he's the son of God, one has to at least acknowledge his historical significance. I do agree with you and the teacher that the toughest part is finding legitimate source materials that aren't of a religious nature.

  3. #3
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    I think Jesus as a historical figure is a great subject. So would be Mohammed for that matter. I bet there is a lot of material out there. I don't know how to gauge the resources of 7th graders, but Thomas Cahil(l), for one, I believe, has written a book on this very subject. p.s. Yes: Desire of the Everlasting Hills.
    Last edited by matclone; 04-19-2008 at 06:53 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Opinions

    I agree with all three of you in terms of Jesus being a legit historical figure to research.
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  5. #5
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions

    Ditto to all the above.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator UGLY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions

    Is there any doubt that I agree. Like you said Rick even if you don't believe he is the Son of God his impact on the world is undeniable. Would the Teacher have disallowed other historical figures because of some bias say Hitler or Mohamed?

  7. #7
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    I think the teacher "assumed" it would be a religious (Jesus is/was the son of God, I am saved, and all of the rest) piece, instead of one being a more historical essay. But I don't see why he couldn't explain the parameters of the project and then ask the kid if he/she thought they could follow those paraments.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Opinions

    Yes, that would be the challenge: leaving the religious points of view out of the history.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Opinions

    Wow that would be a tough task for a 7th grader.
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