Posted by: strasskt | May 11, 2009

Deeper Horizons

Throughout this semester, I have come to find that studying New Atheism has been like learning a new culture. It was something I had not been exposed to, and I was forced to engage in conversation about topics I was unfamiliar with, especially science. Classes like this make me realize how much I appreciate being able to study other cultures at SLU. It is a privilege to have this opportunity at a religious institution. I know many Christian schools which focus their studies solely on Christianity. I have always felt that SLU maintains an open atmosphere that is welcoming to the variety of voices that exist today. Last semester I took a Psychology course about Cross-Cultural Psychology. In my evaluation I said that every student should be required to take the class. For me, broadening my horizons is a priority. After all, it is the nature of learning. Specifically, I find learning about different peoples an especially crucial form of study. As we talked about in my Psychology course, every person is raised in a different culture, even if they grow up in the same house. I hope I’m not straying too much off topic, but I think this class has opened my mind to new perspectives in the same way my Psychology course did.

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Responses

  1. I agree that many of the concepts and ideas of the New Atheists were very new to me, especially the scientific aspect. I still remember the class when all the science majors tried to explain to some of the strictly Humanities majors differences between genes, neurons, and other things that I do not remember because it’s really all over my head anyway.
    However, it was really interesting to study Atheism on a new level, really exploring the thoughts, beliefs, and hopes of people that are different from me. Like you, this is something that I certainly will continue to value in my everyday interactions with others. By learning about the thoughts, cultures, and backgrounds of those different from ourselves, we also learn and grow. This process helps us to become more well-rounded and have a stronger formation in our development. Even studying Atheism helped me to re-evaluate my own beliefs and therefore strengthened them.

  2. I too found this topic of the New Atheists very intriguing as I didn’t know anything about them. Unlike you though Kimber and Rachel, I was one of those science majors soaking in all of the biology that the New Atheists tried to reason with. I found it interesting that these writers come from a very scientific backgroun and culture and if they would have taken a theology class or two in college they may view faith a different way.

    About to graduate with a theology and biology degree I find that my degrees are much more suited when taken together and when I can use both realms of learning to inform the other in my studies. This cross-discipline/cross-cultural thing has really aided me in my pursuit of truth- whatever that may be.


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