November 21, 2006
Interdisciplinary Adventures, Pt. 2
One of my great frustrations in law school was not learning what seemed most exciting about the law-- how to make a compelling argument to a jury. Upon becoming a law teacher, one of my goals was to offer a short one-credit class on the subject. However, I had trouble pulling together a curriculum based on the available materials within law school circles.
I had decided that I wanted to use Aristotle's "On Rhetoric" as the text for the class, and heard that it was already used in another class on campus-- the preaching class at Baylor's seminary. At that point, the focus of the enterprise changed a bit as I considered the interdisciplinary possibilities of the course. In short, I could cross-train preachers and lawyers in a common task: Urging a discrete and individual decision through moral persuasion.
The class has now been offered for several years, and an article describing it can be found here. I co-teach the class with Truett seminary's Hulitt Gloer and Baylor's provost, Randall O'Brien. It has proven to be a popular, meaningful, and practical class.
In the future, I have thought of proposing the class to other law schools which are affilliated via their University with divinity schools as a way to build interdisciplinary contacts-- it would be a great way to spend a year as a visiting prof.
-- Mark Osler
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