IC Honors Seminar Spotlight: Spiritual Journeys

Philosophy and Religion professor Rachel Wagner is teaching a seminar this semester on Spiritual Journeys! Professor Wagner has included some of the books you’ll be reading as well, so learn more below.

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 12.12.26 PMDescribe your seminar in one sentence. This course is an introduction to inter-religious engagement, using the medium of autobiographical travel narratives, novels, and films as a way into the discussion.

Describe your classroom style in one sentence. “I utilize a mode of discussion blended with impromptu lecture, made active by student participation and fired by open-ended questioning.”

What is one thing you hope students will take away from your seminar? “I hope students will leave this seminar deeply appreciative of the varieties of religious expression, more curious about religious difference, and confident in engaging in open-ended deep discussions about religious values and beliefs with others, whether they share the convictions of their conversation partners or not.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 12.07.44 PMWhat is one piece of advice you would give to students? “This question is too hard to answer without knowing the students personally! Advice (at its best) is a product of conversation, wherein one person with more experience in a thing can guide those with less experience. So honestly, depending on the conversation, it’s just as possible that students could give *me* advice!”

Want to know more?

“Students interested in the course should know that there is a lot of reading, but that it is all very interesting and story-based. There are also a few films, and we are likely going to be beta-testing a card game on inter-religious engagement that was constructed by game and religion researchers at RIT. Students may also be interested to know that this course is not “just” for believers. Indeed, atheists, agnostics, and generally curious folks are more than welcome. One of the books we read is about how atheism figures into the conversation about inter-religious interaction. No past experience in religious studies is required.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 12.11.56 PMCheck out the full list of seminars here and the whole list of spotlights here.