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Religions 2017, 8(4), 53; doi:10.3390/rel8040053

Luther, Bach, and the Jews: The Place of Objectionable Texts in the Classroom

1
Division of Music, School of the Arts, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Dr., Birmingham, AL 35229, USA
2
Department of Religion, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Dr., Birmingham, AL 35229, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Peter Iver Kaufman and Christopher Metress
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 26 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
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Abstract

This article examines the pedagogical challenges and value of using objectionable texts in the classroom by way of two case studies: Martin Luther’s writings on Jews and two works by J.S. Bach. The use of morally or otherwise offensive materials in the classroom has the potential to degrade the learning environment or even produce harm if not carefully managed. On the other hand, historically informed instructors can use difficult works to model good scholarly methodology and offer useful contexts for investigating of contemporary issues. Moral judgments about historical actors and events are inevitable, the authors argue, so the instructor’s responsibility is to seize the opportunity for constructive dialogue. View Full-Text
Keywords: Martin Luther; Johann Sebastian Bach; anti-Judaism; anti-Semitism; pedagogy Martin Luther; Johann Sebastian Bach; anti-Judaism; anti-Semitism; pedagogy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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McGinnis, B.; McGinnis, S. Luther, Bach, and the Jews: The Place of Objectionable Texts in the Classroom. Religions 2017, 8, 53.

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