The artificial dichotomy between religious and academic discourse only hinders the ability of religious students to participate in academic writing. According to DePalma, these don’t necessarily need to be separated. Religious discourse is the discourse of affirmation; academic discourse is the discourse of inquiry. To rigidly separate these falsely assumes that discourse is a static entity when truly it is always in flux.
Religious inquiry can be an engine to produce novel approaches to the world that can’t be conveyed in any other way. This is in line with DePalma’s application of pragmatism where he argues that religious discourse is but one of many discourses that can be used to examine the world and create positive consequences.
Possible questions are these: how might religious discourse read and conceive of texts? How might their conception of text interact with composition pedagogy? Are there ways to bridge the gap between religious and academic discourse? Do composition teachers face any ethical dilemmas in trying to educate these students? Does educating these students in mainstream pedagogy always mean that they must relinquish their faith-based literacy? Can academic literacy and faith-based literacy inform each other?
Much of current literature is on the topic of Christianity, particularly fundamentalism and evangelicalism. I hope to move beyond Christianity to the way other religions interact with composition pedagogy. This seems to be fertile ground for further inquiry that hasn’t yet been fully enacted.
Carter, Shannon. “Living Inside the Bible (belt)”. College English 69.6 (2007): 572–595. Web.
DePalma, Michael-John. “Re-envisioning Religious Discourses as Rhetorical Resources in Composition Teaching: A Pragmatic Response to the Challenge of Belief”. College Composition and Communication 63.2 (2011): 219–243. Web.
Rand, Lizabeth A.. “Enacting Faith: Evangelical Discourse and the Discipline of Composition Studies”. College Composition and Communication 52.3 (2001): 349–367. Web.