We spent a good deal of time today discussing what is a religion and looked at a dozen quotes from philosophers and theologians. What does religion mean to you? I'd like to know your idea. Even Virginia Woolf who was agnostic had a form of religion that guided her morality.
An anthropologist Arthur van Gennep studied hundreds of people who were on a quest or journey. He summed up his findings with these three commonalities:
1) separation - we all have to depart, be a stranger, feel alienation
2) luminal stage - we have one foot in the former paradigm and the other exploring the new
3) re aggregation - where we are in a new state, and it's hard to go home.
We spent fifteen minutes rush writing about our own journeys and then a few read.
I am again in a wonderfully diverse class. Here's my take:
Pregnant chaplain - Harvard Divinity School master's candidate
German pastor - from Switzerland and who left her medical practise to work on souls
Harvard Student # 1 - General education requirement just returned from Iraq where he shadowed a doctor for a month. He was appalled to see the dozens of young women with internal bleeding from being rated or involved in human trafficking by ISIS
Little Korean from Canada - a senior in high school who has not lived at home with her family since she was a child
Alien - a visiting college student whose father was a diplomat. He's been uprooted his entire life. Even when he is "home", he is a stranger.
Outback Senior - a travel correspondent from Australia. He's in his 90s and here living his dream.
Harvard Student #2 - general education requirement who studies human evolution biology.
Faculty Assistant - piano performance undergraduate who explored music therapy in a master's program but abandoned it to seek now a new path that will be more fulfilling. She accompanies a ballet school.