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

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.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{McGinnis2017LutherBA, title={Luther, Bach, and the Jews: The Place of Objectionable Texts in the Classroom}, author={Beth McGinnis and Scott M. McGinnis and Peter Kaufman}, year={2017} }