Tyler wrote the following comment in response to my last post entitled “Engagement.” For some unknown reason, it is not showing up on the site, so to respect his thoughts, I’m posting it up. Also, my next post will be based on this; especially the last full paragraph. So enjoy; and, don’t worry, once exams are over, I will put the new post on the Psychotheology blog.
I see what you mean about the religious studies department teaching fewer Christian courses here at VCU than Eastern Religion courses, but I guess at square one is more students’ knowledge of the Bible, the basic tenets of Christianity.
Christianity may not exactly be pop culture push-out fodder, but most people in the country (and the West for that matter) are familiar with the religion around here.
This bias is not simply limited to one against your beliefs, but also the English degree’s requirement and somewhat preference for “exotic” language classes. I still have to smack on some Caribbean literature courses.
Sure, fewer professed Christians teach Christianity here. However, the goal in even the Christian classes is to study peoples’ conception of God. After all, there’s always that personal Jesus stuff: someone to be your friend, someone whose there. I ask you to consider if more often Muslims teach Islam or if Taoists teach Taoism. I know of only two exclusively Islam-teaching professors here, and one is a Muslim unorthodox enough to recieve death threats and the other is a humanist.
I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, but I believe I understand, can relate to, and by moved to action by many facets of Christian philosophy and worldview.
In reference to the other guy who posted here, Paul is an incredible orator and debator. He quite regularly makes atheists his unholy bitches on the record. He’s as committed to his faith as Stephen was, but he is smart enough to take you through an interesting dive into Judaism. His site can link you to some of the best arguments against the Bible on the face of the Earth, but the man is such an intellectual juggernaut that he builds a scaffold around the detractors, prays and then floats his way to the top.
Any publishers out there, print this guy now, if just so I can write down his points to keep track of them.