1st Edition

Authority, Passion, and Subjected-Centered Teaching A Christian Pedagogical Philosophy

By Christopher J. Richmann Copyright 2025
    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book asserts that authority is a contested category and explores why traditional notions of authority are increasingly in tension with progressive and postmodern claims, devolving into stalemate, schizophrenia, or power plays.  

    Offering a Christian framework as a philosophically coherent and practical alternative for teachers, the author argues that Jesus provides a pattern from which to reconstruct our conception of teaching authority in ways that align with evidence-informed teaching practices and cultivate intellectual virtues. Rather than examine “Jesus as teacher”, the book instead applies the central insight on authority that Jesus embodies. This authority with which Jesus taught, it argues, stemmed from his passion—that is, passive, even suffering, experience. The author aligns this to a subject-centered conception of teaching (as opposed to student-centered or teacher-centered) in which the subject is the authority and knowing is identified with being acted upon by the subject. Teaching with authority thereby becomes a matter of unveiling suffering with students and inviting them into their own suffering encounter with the subject.  

    Building on the work on Parker Palmer and exploring pedagogical practice from a Christian perspective, this book will appeal to scholars and researchers with interests in higher education, evidence-based teaching, educational theory, religion and education, and Christian history and thought. 


    Introduction: Do You Have an Authority Problem? 

    1. The Locus of Authority in Teaching and Learning 

    2. Theorizing Subject-Centered Teaching: A Christian View of Authority and Passion 

    3. Show Your Wounds: Display of Scholarly Passion as Subject-Centered Teaching 

    4. Call Disciples: Facilitating Students’ Encounter with the Subject 

    5. Coda: An Invitation on Virtue in Knowing



    Christopher J. Richmann is Assistant Director for Teaching and Learning at the Academy for Teaching and Learning, Baylor University, USA. 

    “Richmann’s project is original, creative, and eminently practical. Beginning with the classical understanding of knowledge as passion and reflecting in light of that on Mark’s presentation of Jesus as ‘one who teaches with authority,’ Richmann elaborates on the implications of this understanding of knowledge for professors and students…This volume is an ambitious undertaking. Richmann’s argument moves in both directions along a continuum from the philosophical to practical technique, a presentation that requires precision in exposition and argument.”   

    Patricia O’Connell Killen, Pacific Lutheran University, USA.