Fortress Press

Interreligious Learning and Teaching: A Christian Rationale for a Transformative Praxis

Interreligious Learning and Teaching

A Christian Rationale for a Transformative Praxis

Kristin Johnston Largen (Author), Mary E. Hess (Contributor), Christy Lohr Sapp (Contributor)


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There is still resistance in Christian institutions to interreligious dialogue. Many feel that such a practice weakens Christian faith, and promotes the idea that Christianity is merely one among many different religious options. When it comes to higher education, there is the fear that both college and seminary students will “lose their faith” if they are invited to study other religious traditions from a positive perspective. 
Unfortunately, this attitude belies the current culture in which we live, which constantly exposes us to the beliefs and practices of others. Kristin Johnston Largen sees this setting as an opportunity and seeks to provide not only the theological grounding for such a position but also some practical advice on how both to teach and live out this conviction in a way that promotes greater understanding and respect for others and engenders a deeper appreciation of one’s own faith tradition.
Largen’s synopsis of interreligious education and suggested action includes contributions by Mary E. Hess and Christy Lohr Sapp. Hess and Sapp provide practical commentary regarding the successful implementation of Largen’s proposed approach. As a group, Largen, Hess, and Sapp create a text that extends pedagogical innovation in inspiring but practical ways.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451488777
  • eBook ISBN 9781451489699
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 128
  • Publication Date November 1, 2014


"As a liberal arts college professor who teaches Christian theology and ethics in a world religions department, I know firsthand that students benefit immensely from learning religious traditions that are not their own. Moreover, an interreligious society and world such as ours makes such study an ethical must for all citizens and members of all faith traditions. Largen's timely contribution will assist teachers and administrators to make a compelling case for the inclusion of such study in higher education and seminary settings and provides teachers with practical guidance on how to effectively implement it."
—Kelly Denton-Borhaug
Moravian College
"Largen, Hess, and Sapp have put their finger on the leading topic in faith formation in the twenty-first century. Not only are all communities, even households, affected by the increasingly interreligious landscape of multicultural America—we still need better tools for engaging the religious other in transformative ways. This text presents comparative theology and other paradigms for interreligious engagement in an engaging and accessible manner. It's like joining a conversation already going on between Christians on how they have been learning to encounter interreligious contexts in ways that transform their own faith and the faith of those they encounter."
—Clint Schnekloth, Lead Pastor
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas

"Navigating religious diversity is one of the most pressing and transformative challenges of our time. Grounded in their rich experience of teaching and ministry, the authors reflect on the practical challenges and possibilities opened up by encounters with followers of other religious paths. This is a thoughtful and discerning guide for all Christians interested in exploring interreligious relationships in light of the best contemporary educational practices."
Leo D. Lefebure
Georgetown University

"In Interreligious Learning and Teaching, Kristin Johnston Largen, Mary E. Hess, and Christy Lohr Sapp recognize the urgent need for interreligious dialogue and have provided a suggestive text, which attends with care to the pluralistic world of religious 'others' in which we live. This work calls Christians to engage that world through creative reading of the Bible and the Christian tradition, which 'walks the line between holy envy and misappropriation' of another’s tradition. The text will challenge the reader to think in deeper ways about what she or he would appropriate or refuse to appropriate from the teachings and practices of the religious 'others.'"
Winston D. Persaud
Wartburg Theological Seminary


Author Kristin Johnston Largen sat down with us at AAR/SBL 2014 to talk about Interreligious Learning and Teaching!