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Faculty Biography - Adam Darlage

Faculty Biography - Adam Darlage

Adam Darlage


B.A. Xavier College
M.A. University of Chicago
Ph.D. University of Chicago

Room 2430Des Plaines

Personal Statement

I have been a member of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy at Oakton since 2009.  Before coming to Oakton, I gained valuable teaching experience at a number of different colleges and universities in the Chicago area, including St. Xavier University, the Lutheran School of Theology, Dominican University, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago.  My courses have included those in History, the Humanities and Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Theology.  Teaching at Oakton is a real pleasure for me, as both my students and my fellow faculty members have proven to be wonderful conversation partners in the study of the Humanities.  So far, I have taught Western Culture and the Arts, World Religions, and Philosophy of Religions.  I look forward to teaching other courses in the future.

I received my Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2009, and I my research spans several subfields.  These include early modern history and church history, Anabaptist studies, controversial literature, and North American religious history, especially eighteenth and nineteenth-century Christian communalism.  I have written articles for Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, The Mennonite Quarterly Review, The Catholic Historical Review, and Renaissance et Réforme.  While I spend most of my time with archival or published evidence sets, my guilty pleasure is historiography, that is, the study of how historians research and write historical narratives.  I consider Marc Bloch’s Apologie pour l'histoire ou Métier d'historien (The Historian’s Craft) the finest reflection on the subject.  For Bloch, the historian is a detective who must master a number of analytical and research skills in order to pursue his or her craft with any degree of success.  I enjoy popular literary or television characters I believe embody this ideal: Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin, Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and CSI’s Gil Grissom. 

As a teacher, I seek to cultivate critical thought among my students through the examination of both primary and secondary sources in ways that make the ideas relevant to them.  For example, it is rather pointless to assign Martin Luther’s Freedom of a Christian to an introductory student without 1) some kind of secondary narrative to help explain its context and 2) an engagement with basic questions about human volition that the students can relate to their own experience.  Without a connection to something that students can understand and relate to their own lives, theological concepts, philosophical maxims, literary theories, or historical data are too abstract (or, to them, boring) for many of them to receive, remember, or even want to remember.  Content becomes almost meaningless and learning is stunted.  I believe that actual learning only takes place in an environment of mutual respect, collaborative endeavors, and lively discussion and debate modeled on the Socratic method.  As the instructor, then, my most important task is to prepare my syllabus, presentations, assignments, and the general learning environment in ways that lead to actively engaged student learning. 

Alumni Profile

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October 5
Incomplete (I) grades from summer 2014 semester for which faculty have not submitted final grades will become an "F" after this date.

October 10
Last day for filing Graduation Petitions.

October 26
Last day to withdraw with a "W" from 16-week courses; Students will receive a grade in all courses in which they are enrolled after October 26.

November 11
Veterans Day holiday. College closed.

November 19
Registration opens for spring 2015 semester.

November 27, 28
Thanksgiving recess. College closed.

November 29, 30
Thanksgiving recess. No classes; College open.

December 16, 17
Evaluation Days.

December 17
Last day of student attendance.

December 18
Grading Day. Faculty on campus and available to students at designated times.

Full Academic Calendar