Carolyn Sharp honored with 2007 Fortress Press Teaching Award
In awarding its 2007 Teaching Award to Carolyn Sharp, associate professor of Hebrew Scriptures at Yale Divinity School, the Fortress Press publishing house called Sharp a “faculty leader” and a “superb teacher of teachers” who has “formed the basis of what many of her colleagues now do to inaugurate new teaching assistants into their own work.”
Formal presentation of the award was made during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, held Nov. 17-20 in San Diego.
The Fortress Press citation says, “Carolyn Sharp has been recognized as a faculty leader in guiding reflection about the teaching process; in shaping the classroom experience, through the judicious use of written, visual, and audio materials, as a lively involvement in the ongoing history of scripture interpretation; and in developing course materials that are sensitive to the variety of learning styles among her students.”
Sharp credits initiatives with the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, and from the Episcopal Church's Conant Fund, as being instrumental in shaping her pedagogical approach.
From the Wabash Center she cites three initiatives:
The Conant Fund supported her development of several pedagogical tools for teaching YDS's big introductory course Old Testament Interpretation.
Fortress Press said, “She has developed study guides that introduce her students in a systematic way to an array of interpretive strategies and techniques. She encourages peer learning by expecting students to engage the class as a whole with their own questions and explorations...
“A superb teacher of teachers, she prepares her teaching assistants, mostly doctoral students in religious studies, for the joys and challenges of seminary teaching. She has prepared for them guides to teaching and to resources available to help them develop their teaching skills. Her work with these teaching assistants has formed the basis of what many of her colleagues now do to inaugurate new teaching assistants into their own work.
“Because she is a passionate teacher, dedicated to innovation in service of her students and of her craft, we are pleased to present this award to Carolyn Sharp.”
Sharp's research explores aspects of the composition, redaction, and rhetoric of Hebrew Scripture texts. In recent articles, she has examined the representation of Hebrew Bible traditions in the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls, urged the creation of a multivocal Old Testament theology shaped by the notion of diaspora identity, and explored the potential of Old Testament hermeneutics to address contemporary ecclesial debates.
Her books include Prophecy and Ideology in Jeremiah (T&T Clark, 2003) and Irony and Meaning in the Hebrew Bible (in press with Indiana University Press).
An Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow, Sharp is active in the Episcopal Church, preaching and leading parish study groups on biblical theology and hermeneutics.
Sharp earned a B.A. in religious studies from Wesleyan University, an M.A.R. from YDS, and a Ph.D. (2000) in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament from Yale.