November 8th, 2006
|06:31 pm - Univeristy Interfaith?|
I have just returned from my first Univeristy Interfaith Association meeting.
It was a very interesting experience.
Now, for some background, about four years ago, I made the following statement:
"I see interfaith debate as counter-productive to religion."
The reasons for that statement are rather varied, but in particular, it was a reaction to the various invitations to "interfaith" debate that was really an invitation to a "why aren't you Christian yet" debate, which were the only sort of "interfaith dialogues" I had ever had at the time.
Over the past three or so years, I've softened my stance on interfaith dialogue, been involved with Muslim dialogue groups, and become comfortable enough in my conversations with people to call them on things like the "why aren't you Christian yet" debate.
I serve as the primary contact for the University Interfaith Association at the Office of Information Technology at Ohio State. This particular facet of my job was one of the first things I was ever given full charge of when I started here. I never really thought much about it: it was a job task, one that I did because I had to.
But recently, I started looking into what they do. It seems that they're extremely accepting, and generally full of good people. I realized that I hadn't been treating this particular customer as well as I could have, and so I asked my boss if I could go to one of their meetings, which are open and have guest speakers.
Sara said yes, so long as I tell them I'm a representative from the campus Satanists.
Well, I didn't do that, but I did get in touch with my contact there and ask if I could show up, and where it was. He said I most certainly could, so I made the plans.
This morning, I walked in, was welcomed, and sat down next to my contact. I learned a lot about counseling from the nice lady who was speaking, and a lot about how the University deals with spirituality, religion, and religious diversity.
And I found myself wondering if I really ought to be working with them. . . more than just as their OIT contact.
There's more to come on this front, I think. New territory, new directions.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: curious
Current Music: "If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me", -JB
Neither. It's actually mostly a group of clergy who have no affiliation with the university but work with the surrounding churches, individual student groups, or communities of students within the university.
Ahh, that would explain my confusion at their website. :)