Professor’s credo on teaching published

February 23, 2009

“Good teaching does not happen in a vacuum…it is predicated on a caring community of fellow seekers.” So begins a newly published book on teaching by Ira G. Zepp, professor emeritus of Religious Studies and three-time winner of the McDaniel’s Distinguished Teaching Award and 1989 Maryland Professor of the Year. This 80-page book titled “Pedagogy of the Heart,” explores diverse definitions of the art of teaching and examines the “intimacy of human relationships” in pursuit of wisdom.

Zepp traces his own educational journey, one that shaped him as a person and teacher, and dedicates the book to McDaniel alumni Charles and Carol Moore whose generosity endowed the annual teaching awards. The book, underwritten by Harvard Professor David Carrasco ’67, is illustrated by Ellen von Dehsen Elmes ’69 whose mural celebrates the lives of Ira and Mary Zepp and currently is displayed on campus in Hoover Library.

Zepp joined the faculty in 1963 and continued to teach full-time until 1994. His electrifying courses on taboo topics like human sexuality, death and racism, and his serious scholarship on a wide range of subjects from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X to the culture and religion of Islam, have inspired generations of students.

Among his dozen published books are “Search for the Beloved Community: The Thinking of Martin Luther King Jr.” with Kenneth L. Smith, “Drum Major for a Dream: Poetic Tributes to Martin Luther King, Jr.” with Del Palmer, professor emeritus of English, “A Muslim Primer: Beginner’s Guide to Islam” and “Nonviolence: Origin and Outcomes” with Charles Collyer.

Copies of the book are available in the campus bookstore for $20 each. All proceeds will go to fund Zepp Center scholarships at Common Ground on the Hill. For more information go online .