Faith Week Brings Fresh Perspective

Last week, the Chaplaincy and Interfaith Council presented Faith Week, which began Tuesday, March 24 and continued through Wednesday, April 1. Faith Week included a total of 11 different events in which numerous religions and belief systems were represented. These events helped to expose students on campus to different religions with which they might be unfamiliar. It also provided a chance for students to learn more about their own religion and the reasoning behind certain traditions.

Sophomore Medvis Jackson attended several of the events.

“This is a very non-religious campus, very secular. It is important to have this variation,” Jackson said. “This is a great way to try and make people more aware, and understand that there is a life after Colgate.”

Jackson also noted the benefits of having the events represent at variety of different religions.

“You tend to forget how much you have in common with other religions on campus,” Jackson said.

Junior Allison Patchen also attended several of Faith Week’s events. She mostly went to events that corresponded with her own religious belief system, such as the University Church Service, “Protestantism 101,” and University Church Bible Study, “Bible Study 101.” Patchen attends church regularly, so for her this was a way to the support the community.

“[The events provided a] good opportunity for other people to come,” Patchen said, adding that she thinks it is wonderful when new people show a desire to learn more about religious faith on campus.

Additionally, Patchen attends the University Church Community dinner every week. This week, four new people came to the dinner. According to Patchen, this increase in attendance demonstrated that Faith Week “did get the word out.”

Another event Patchen attended was the Newman Lunch titled “Imaging Faith: A Pictorial Catechism,” hosted by Charles A. Dana Professor of Humanities and Native American Studies in the Department of Religion Chris Vecsey.

“[During this lunch Vecsey presented a] five foot long scroll that was previously used to evangelize in Oregon and other places in the Northwestern United States,” Patchen said.

This year, Patchen primarily attended events revolving around her own religious beliefs, but she said she would have liked to explore more events if she had had the time. Last year, for instance, she attended an event on Paganism that she thought was very interesting.

“I was left with more questions than answers but I think that was the point,” Patchen said.

Other Faith Week events included a lecture by Rabbi Reuven Firestone titled “Was Abraham a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim?”; dinner and the movie Baraka; a Heretics Club lunch on what it means to be religious and/or spiritual; an introduction to Jummah (Friday prayer) hosted by the Muslim Student Association; Shabbat 101 and Mass 101); a lecture by Margot Adler on contemporary earth religions; and a Buddhist Student Association Sangh dinner and mediation.