Joining the Journey: Using Memory Research to Help Students Identify with Biblical Events

From: Volume 13, Issue 2: Fall 2016, Educational Ministry and Missions Pages 266-282


The world of the Old Testament is one many students see as a “strange land” (Rodd, 2001). For those who teach the Old Testament as Scripture, this is a significant problem, for that land and its people are part of our faith story—something we need to identify with. The aim of this article, then, is to show how memory research might provide a way forward in helping students identify with Scripture. By leveraging false memory research in particular, it is argued that by carefully embedding sensory features within storytelling we can facilitate a pseudo-experience, thereby helping students to “see” themselves in biblical events. This seeing, in turn, accomplishes meaningful and long-term identification, for it shifts students’ memory of biblical events from the perspective of an observer to that of a participant. The book of Deuteronomy is used to show how this can be put into practice.



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