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REL100 in Retrospect, Half 1 – Learning Faith in Tradition

The next put up is the primary of a three-part sequence on college students’ reflections written as a part of a last project in Prof. Vaia Touna’s REL 100 “Introduction to the Study of Religion” in Fall 2022.

Maxwell Jacobson is initially from North Carolina, a freshman majoring in Enterprise.

I might say there are various issues I’ve discovered this yr which are going to vary the best way I take into consideration spiritual discourse. The factor that stands proud to me essentially the most, although, is the concept of classification and what one thing is assessed as. I by no means even thought to contemplate why issues are referred to as what they’re referred to as and why it’s that we name them that. Like a desk, a mountain, or perhaps a faith. I’ve grown up being taught by different individuals what this stuff are and what they symbolize. I by no means questioned it as soon as or doubted it. Whereas taking this class, I spotted I might query completely the whole lot. For instance, faith, the phrase’s major use, stays as “a instrument of classification to explain an extremely numerous class of objects, concepts, practices, and establishments” (Faith in 5 Minutes, p. 9). What does that make Christianity? Does it fall into that class? Does Christianity classify as a faith? We nonetheless haven’t thought of who it’s that will get to categorise it. As soon as I went down this rabbit gap, I spotted how open to interpretation the whole lot may be. I discovered an instance that sums this concept up very nicely: “So if instruments are designed to perform pursuits, but when these pursuits are perpetually in movement, then the gadgets that we use to make the world knowable (these issues that we generally name ideas, classes, techniques of classification, and so on.) should regularly be re-tooled and typically even discarded all relying on our ever-changing pursuits, and curiosities” (Learning Faith, p. 111). That is true within the sense that as our concepts and views change, what do the instruments we use to categorise them change to? “Between classifiers, their system of classification, and that which they’re classifying, the whole lot is totally as much as interpretation” (Learning Faith, 112). I’ve discovered to query the whole lot, and to take a look at the world from a a lot totally different perspective.

As a normal introduction to the educational examine of faith, REL 100 focuses intimately on the issue of defining faith, the insider/outsider drawback, theories of faith, and the implications of classification. The course has 90 college students enrolled and as a last project they needed to reply three questions. Every reply needed to be between 250-300 phrases the place college students must critically synthesize issues that they discovered within the class by making reference to the category’s studying materials. One of many questions that college students needed to reply was to replicate on one factor they discovered that has modified the best way they perceive spiritual discourses. Whereas lots of the college students’ responses mirrored on what their assumptions have been about faith, that’s, previous to taking the category, every of those chosen for this sequence properly exemplify what they now perceive to be the examine of faith. The course makes use of Russell McCutcheon’s Learning Faith and his co-edited quantity with Aaron Hughes Faith in 5 Minutes.

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