November 21, 2005

Religious Minor shout-out

Introduction to Catholic Visits assessment (A. Cochran):

On one white doorframe in my house, small black marks decorate a wooden panel. From a distance, it looks as if a carpenter made a mistake, but upon further investigation, the marks are accompanied by sisterís name and my own along with a date. Not only indicating our height, these small markers remind us of our development and incite memories of standing on tiptoe to look taller, as we pass through the door today. I think of this semester's Catholic visits in similar terms; mistakes, development, investigation and memories have each marked this ongoing experience of the "other" and myself.

This semester I visited four separate Catholic worship locales: St. Benedict the Moor, St. Mary's Byzantine, St. Emma's Monastery and St. Joseph's Chapel. In addition, I interviewed several Catholics and now I am interviewing for and writing an article on Catholic identity at SHU. Needless to say, I'm getting an interesting understanding of what it is like to be Catholic, and particularly, a Catholic at SHU. It's been an incredible study. I can't wait to work this into my conversations with Egyptian Muslim students over Christmas break.

It's fascinating. Religious studies is a great minor to pick up at SHU (and no one has paid me to say that :-)). The staff is great and the classes take you places (spiritually, intellectually and physically [the visits]) that I'd probably not go if I hadn't taken it up.

You are asked to think outside yourself; and though it can create a horrible dissonance with your own beliefs, it is great to try on different coats for a while. Some are too small and others are a little baggy, but it's a great accompaniment to your education to try or at least critique another faith or faiths with an open mind. I've found with further study, I'm stronger in my own beliefs because of it, and now I know what I believe and why I believe it.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at November 21, 2005 9:27 PM | TrackBack

Amanda, It sounds like an interesting article! Speaking as a practicing Catholic living in Texas, "Catholic" is one word not to be used because there are always Baptists or Fundamental Christians ready to condemn you, similar reactions result from saying "liberal."

Posted by: Bobby Kuechenmeister at November 23, 2005 1:15 AM
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