ERIC Number: EJ850327
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
Teaching Religious Doubt with Toulmin's Model of Reasoning
Horne, Milton P.
Teaching Theology & Religion, v11 n4 p203-212 Oct 2008
Teaching students to doubt, that is, to "test," theological arguments as one might test any other kind of knowledge is challenging in that the warrant for such testing is not immediately clear. Stephen Toulmin, Richard Rieke, and Allan Janik's model of reasoning provides a conceptual framework that demonstrates the logical relationships between a claim, its grounds, warrants, and backing for warrants. Against such a model, the instructor and students may study religious claims, both biblical and theological, with the aim of analyzing the ways such claims find support or a lack of support depending upon the particular ways that claims and evidence have competing warrants. Several pedagogical benefits ensue. First, students see that the validity for theological claims rests as much upon warrants as it does upon grounding. Second, searching for ancient warrants privileges historical-critical investigation. Third, competing warrants for contradictory theological claims summon pedagogical metaphors of process and development.
Descriptors: Religious Education, Logical Thinking, Models, Cognitive Structures, Credibility, Persuasive Discourse, Philosophy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A