Are you bothered by the extreme polarization of religious views in today’s society? Are you put off by the contentiousness in much of our religious/political public debates? Are you irritated when some religious leaders mis-characterize others who don’t agree with them? Are you turned off by the corrosive atmosphere of some left- versus right-wing arguments? Do you wish there could be a more generous conversation between opposing viewpoints? Do you believe that common ground could be sought and discovered?
This class will model a civil and friendly dialogue between two religious leaders from two different perspectives—one evangelical and one liberal. Weekly discussions will be framed by key themes in Christianity which have molded the instructors (the Bible; Jesus; God; humanity; the church; spiritual belief and practice; ethics and social justice; women’s perspectives; interfaith dialogue; and the relationship of religion and culture). Students of all religions (or no religion) are welcome. There will be opportunities for class members to pose questions to the presenters and to participate as conversation partners. The class will provide a safe space for conversation among all participants. It will be interactive, open to all points of view, and will promote respect and understanding.