Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Five questions to the professor

Still staying in Aarhus, we asked Jakob Engberg to answer our questionary. Jakob is the head of our program, and is doing a brilliant job, I would say.  (and no, I am not handing in any exampapers to him this semester;)

1. Please state your name, age, university and connection to the RREprogram.
Jakob Engberg; 40 years old; Aarhus University; coordinator for the whole programme (since it was launched); coordinator for Aarhus; part of the team that applied for support for the developing of the programme (2007), developed it (2007-2009) and launched it (2009).

2. What is your area of expertise? and which courses do you teach in the RREprogram?
Expertise: the relationship between different religious groups in antiquity, e.g. persecution, polemics, apologetics, conversion. I teach a course on Apologetics and conversion and have taught another on Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, both interaction courses. In addition I teach the thesis colloquium in Aarhus.

3. How do you find this way of teaching, which is not regular university courses but also not distance learning?
I enjoy very much to be together with the students for compact seminars in and out of classes. But I also appreciate the e-learning not least because I observe that it gives the students practice in writing about the subject making the transition to the exam-paper les abrupt than for “normal” students who for a whole term have written next to nothing about a subject and then are asked suddenly to write a whole 10-page paper on it.

4. What do you expect from your students?
Commitment and diligence academically; frankness in any dealings with fellow students and with me and other teachers.

5. If you could have any superhuman power, what would it be and why?
My wife would greatly appreciate if my craftsmanship was on the level of Vulcan’s (or even on the level of a human handyman). When encountering legal obstacles during the development of RRE it would have been nice to be cunning like the Norse god Loki. Sometimes a fancy spear like Odin’s Gungnir (it was unstoppable) or a thunderbolt like Jupiter’s would even have been nice. But knowing my own character I better wish for a divine ability that I cannot misuse to the detriment of others: patience!

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