A Senior Honors Project
by MSU Religious Studies alumna Julie Wrocklage
"So we must listen to understand, but we must also listen to put into play the compassion that the wisdom traditions all enjoin, for it is impossible to love another without hearing that other. If we are to be true to these religions, we must attend to others as deeply and as alertly as we hope that they will attend to us." (Huston Smith, The World’s Religions , NY: Harper Collins, 1991)
When I tell people I am a Religious Studies major, I get a variety of responses. [I explain] that my degree is not the same as a degree one might get at a seminary; instead of focusing on one religion subjectively, I am learning about a variety of world religions objectively. My goal is to develop cultural competence; I am developing critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate, which is needed in any profession.
For this project, I interviewed twenty individuals within five of the major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant), Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. My motivation here lies in my commitment to diversity. Diversity is essential because in interacting with those from different cultures and different religions I have found that we are united in our humanness no matter what our spiritual preferences… I hope that the videos I’ve produced will serve as a tool in educating people about religion, with the ultimate goal of understanding among diverse groups.
The following videos were produced by MSU Religious Studies Alumna Julie Wrocklage (2013), for her Senior Honors Project and posted here with her permission