Hello Blogging team!
Faith, as Angela Drisdale Gordon rightly commented on Pen Portraits, discussing religious belief is sensitive. Why? It’s deep rooted, comments Steve Cross on Travelling Cultures.
I’m from the school of thought that your faith is who you truly are, its your very fabric, your moral compass, the light that shines from withn inot this dark world. Yes, very dramatic. I’m a conservative, Christian woman and very poud of that. I live by the philosophy that God is in the present, the here and now, He’s not in the past – it doesn’t exist and He’s not in the future as it hasn’t happened yet, He indeed is here and now. And also to love, as God is a God of love, so as a Christian womanhowcan I say i Love God but hate my fellow neighbour? Forr those who do not know, within the Chistian guidebook known as the Bible the greatest commandment is to Love thy God with all thy heart and mind, and to love thy neighbour!
Anyway, so that my position is clear I can move on. Its important that faith identities are explored, within academia, life as its curerntly an increasingly important topical issue. Yes, the global unrest, wars, terror, genocides etc all rooted back to the dogma that religious beliefs can expel. But from a basic human level people take much comfort, build fortitudes, fellowship, draw strength, from their beliefs. Growing up in the 90s it wasn’t always cool or accepted to necessarily to discuss ones beliefs and it wasn’t until I attended unversity that I actually clung even tighter to it. University life does have a way of breaking down an individual , re moulding them into societal standards, pumping the individual full of knowledge and spitting them back out again. This newly aquired head knowledgt can at times conflict with the simple principles of an students/individuals faith beliefs. The two at times cannot coexist – especially with consideration to the Christian model.
Its apparent that the UAL have set up resource channels to question, engage and identify students their wants and needs within this area. But what they should also consider and what I would consider is to allow the doctrines of each faith background be heard liverally and unapologetically. There is no shame in having a faith and at times this element is overlooked. Being a Christian for example is nothing to hide, students would appreciate more guest speakers, cinema days dedicated to viewing religious movies/films/drama, contemporary magazines, music played within the grounds, subtle inclusive tactics that allows for the communication element to exist.
Mr Appiah did show that religions are contingent and always changing. But he is too much of a intellect for my sensibilities. From a personal standpoint the things of God or godly inspired topics are very simple. I found him to be very humorous at times when referencing his Ghanaian background, which I completely identified with coupled with his British identity, which again I can identify with. His depth and scope of knowledge regarding religion was plain to see, he was inclusive about the faiths, its affects on our actions, our truths, our lives, but he also came across as slightly agnostic, above it all, distant which left me slightly despondent. His sexuality seemed to offer a conflict for those present at the talk, as its topical when relating it to faith/religion. I cannot offer my opinion here so will quite comfortably sit on the fence, with my tea, after all i’m still a student of life trying to unpick and understand what this is all about.