In “Caution: Technical Terminology Ahead,” a blog on Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy, Russell McCutcheon describes how he and other religious studies professors must disambiguate the technical terms of their field before diving into new material:
The academic study of religion is no less specialized than any other domain within the university; but other fields have the benefit of a technical terminology far removed from daily speech — few of us walk around talking about “the gravitational constant,” even though we all know what happens to a ball when we throw it . . . the skill of the many 100-level professors is likely to familiarize students with a field’s technical terminology, whereas the skill of the intro religious studies professors is possibly first to defamiliarize students with their folk view of the world before ever getting on with . . . the new material.