Twenty-five years ago, historian of religions Jonathan Z. Smith wrote: "The quest for the powers and skills of informed judgment for the dual capacities of appreciation and criticism might well stand as the explicit goal of entry level of college curriculum." Regardless of specific course content, the polymethodic face of Religious and Undergraduate Research is increasingly identified as a particularly effective pedagogy for teaching and learning these skills in the discipline. Teaching Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies offers an introduction to the philosophy and practice of Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies and takes up several significant ongoing questions related to it. For those new to Undergraduate Research, it provides an overview of fundamental issues and pedagogical questions and practical models for application in the classroom. For seasoned mentors, the book acts as a dialogue partner on emerging issues and offers insight into pertinent questions in the field based on the experience of recognized experts.
Individual chapters focus on select theoretical and practical topics including the nature of collaboration between faculty and students, what it means for undergraduate students to make an "original contribution" in their research, how to identify and shape a research project that is appropriate and manageable, the types of institutional and professional support systems needed to adequately support and reward faculty who participate in this kind of pedagogy, and procedures for adequate and appropriate assessment.