Overton, Mary O'Shan. “Teaching Writing for Ethical Transformation”. PhD, Boston College, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:104625.
In theological education in the United States, writing is taught primarily as an individualistic pursuit in which students demonstrate knowledge acquisition and conformity to the standards of academic English. This creates significant problems for students who hail from educational, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds unlike that of the dominant academic context. To address these problems, educators must expand beyond our vision of writing as a utilitarian product created in solitude to see it as a process of student ethical transformation that assists students to construct voices that connect to who whey are and better relate to their audiences and their contexts of ministry. Several resources are explored to support theological educators in enacting this pedagogical shift: 1) composition theory and linguistics describing writing as a socio-rhetorical activity that can aid students in the generative struggle of creating voices; 2) intersectional theory for an analysis of the construction a major theological figure’s prophetic voice; and 3) South African Ubuntu theology to reframe writing as an intentional relational process concerned with the ethical dimensions of communication. The final chapter outlines a practical process of pedagogical change for learners in the classroom and for theological institutions themselves. Given the radical change in the context of ministry and the demographics of our student bodies, theological educators must transform how we teach writing in order to recognize and respond to the educational needs of our diverse students as they prepare for a wide range of vocational callings; to enliven theological writing in the academy; and to increase writing’s relevance and responsiveness to the world and church in which we live and share our lives of faith.