Working for the Common Good through Worldview Encounters: An Application in Teaching the Reformation at Catholic Colleges

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Bethany Kilcrease, Ph.D.

Abstract

General education curricula at Catholic colleges ought to function as a training ground for refining the skills students will need to navigate a pluralist world. Students must, for instance, better understand existing social, political, and religious conditions around the world if they are to have the knowledge necessary to successfully negotiate and appreciate diverse contemporary environments. Learning about diverse religious perspectives and worldviews, in particular, ushers students into what researchers call “provocative encounters” that enable students to refine their own worldviews. The combination of understanding the views of others and a sophisticated commitment to one’s own worldview equips students to work with diverse others in service of the neighbor for the common good. This article concludes by exploring how teaching the history of the Protestant Reformation(s) in a general education history class can achieve these desired student learning outcomes. 

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