Generosity, Meaning-making, Intolerance
Keywords:Contemplative reading, lectio divina, medieval literature, contemplative pedagogy, Reading assignment
Students may read a text in much the same way they read a situation or another person. Critical reading can be a deeply self-aware and transformative process. However, at the undergraduate level, it can often be a mere analytical performance that reinforces the notion of radical discontinuity between historical eras and among human experiences. Contemplative reading, as a practice of generosity and connection, can generate self-awareness and transformative engagement with an Other, supporting critical reading. Contemplative readings of vilified or ignored subjects paired with students’ direct experiences of their resistance can surface intolerance and encourage meaning-making. In this piece, a traditional assignment of weekly reading responses posted by students to a Learning Management System is revised into a Contemplative Reading assignment. This assignment makes visible the reading process to highlight the skills of generous reading, noticing novelty, recognizing emotional reactivity, owning emotions rather than projecting them, and meaning-making, thereby expanding students’ capacities to engage with the world using critical, creative, and contemplative dispositions.
Augustine of Hippo, Saint (1958). On Christian Doctrine. (D.W. Robertson, Trans.). Liberal Arts Press.
Barratt, L. F. (2017). How emotions are made: The secret life of the brain. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Bennett, J. (2010). The enchantment of modern life: attachments, crossings, and ethics. Princeton University Press.
Berila, B. (2016). Integrating mindfulness into anti-oppression pedagogy: social justice in higher education. Routledge.
Brown, A. M. (2017). Emergent strategy: shaping change, changing worlds. AK Press.
Coan, J. A., & Sbarra, D. A. (2015). “Social baseline Theory: the social regulation of risk and effort,” Current Opinion in Psychology, 1, 87–91.
Coan, J. (2013). “Why we hold hands,” TedX Charlottesville. https://youtu.be/1UMHUPPQ96c
Dalton, J., Hall, M. P., & Hoyser, C. E. (2019). The whole person: embodying teaching and learning through Lectio and Visio Divina. Rowman & Littlefield.
Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences: an integrated approach to designing college courses. Jossey-Bass.
Fitzpatrick, K. (2019). Generous thinking: a radical approach to saving the university. Johns Hopkins University Press.
hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress. Routledge.
hooks, b. (2001). All about love: new visions. Harper Collins.
Jacobs, A. (2001). A theology of reading: the hermeneutics of love. Westview Press.
Keator, M. (2019). Lectio divina as contemplative pedagogy: re-appropriating monastic practice for the humanities. Routledge.
Kinane, K. (2013). “Contemplative Pedagogy, Enchantment, and the Medieval Past.” Postmedieval Forum, IV. http://postmedieval-forum.com/forums/forum-iv-pedagogy/
Kinane, K. (2018). “The Issue of Relevancy: Contemplative, subjective, affective.” In Creating the Pre-Modern in the Post Modern Classroom (pp. 193–214). Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Kinane, K. (2019). “The Place of Practice in Contemplative Pedagogy and Writing.” Across the Disciplines, 16(1), 6–15. https://wac.colostate.edu/docs/atd/contemplative/kinane2019.pdf
King, R. (2018). Mindful of race: transforming racism from the inside out. Sounds True, Inc.
Klimecki, O., Ricard, M., & Singer, T. (2013). Empathy versus Compassion.In T. Singer & M. Bolz (Eds.), Compassion: Bridging Practice and Science. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. http://www.compassion-training.org/
Komjathy, L. (2018). Introducing contemplative studies. Wiley Blackwell.
Langer, E. J. (1998). The power of mindful learning. Addison-Wesley.
Nussbaum, M. C. (1995). Poetic justice: the literary imagination and public life. Beacon Press.
Ricoeur, P. (1970). Freud and Philosophy: An essay on interpretation, trans. D. Savage. Yale University Press.
Rilke, R. M., Louth, C., & Kappus, F. X. (2016). Letters to a young poet. Penguin Books.
Roth, H. D. (2006). “Contemplative Studies: Prospects for a New Field.” Teachers College Record, 108(9), 1787–1815. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9620.2006.00762.x
Tippett, K. (Host). (2018 April 19). Angel Kyodo williams: The world is our field of practice. [Audio podcast episode]. On Being with Krista Tippett. https://onbeing.org/programs/angel-kyodo-williams-the-world-is-our-field-of-practice/#transcript
Wilhelm, J. D. & Novak, B. (2011). Teaching Literacy for Love and Wisdom. Teachers College Press.
williams, a. K., Owens, L. R., & Syedullah, J. (2016). Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation (Illustrated ed.). North Atlantic Books.
Zajonc, A. (2009). Meditation as contemplative inquiry: when knowing becomes love. Lindisfarne Books.