Wednesday, February 15, 2006

So, haven't made a blog entry in quite a long time. I've been really busy lately, so I haven't gotten a chance to sit at my computer and blog away like some other people in the class. This is going to be a short entry though because I haven't really enjoyed some of the last couple of readings, so instead of comment on what we have read, I am going to talk about the books that we are going to start reading very soon. I started reading Diana Eck's novel, A New Religious America and I have glanced at the other two books, Betweeen Heaven and Earth and Soul Searching. Earlier in the semester, we read an article by Eck on religious diversity and The Pluralism Project and I found what she said was very true in that our country is no longer just a Christian-based nation, but rather one can go to California and find anything from a Jewish synagogue to a Catholic church to a mosque all in the relatively same area of the state. I personally felt that she took a simplistic approach to the problem because everyone trying to understand each other's religion and being ok with them is easier said than done. Another point I would like to make is that personally, I think the main problem associated with how America has transformed into this place of extreme religious diversity is the mass ignorance and unawareness of this important, yet not made important issue. I don't think if I went to my family and asked them about the religious diversity of America that they would really believe at first the extent to which America has become a region where people can actively practice their religions, both privately and publicly. To me this is great and all, but I would have rathered started with the other two books. I think that studying the relationships and individual religious worlds that people make with sacred figures would be fascinating because it's like you are getting into the person's mind who believes they have this special relationship with the Virgin Mary or Allah or whatever higher being they believe in. I can't wait to read that book; I hope it is as good as I think it will be. The last book, Soul Searching, is other one that I wish we could have read first because I really didn't think that religious spirituality played such a great role in teenagers lives as the author claims it to have. Many of my friends in high school never went to church as did I, so reading that kind of made me step back and evaluate my own life. By taking these religious courses, I hope to be able to make the decision of whether I want to lead a religious life or not and being happy with that decision. Just from glancing at this book, I think that it speaks to the searching that I am doing now.

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