Exploring World Religions
The July Experience: July 7 - 13, 2013
This flagship course is an unrivalled opportunity to explore the 4P's – people, places, practices and philosophies – of world religions. You learn about the traditions in the classroom and then get to experience them firsthand!
In seven intensive days you’ll encounter world religions intellectually and experientially. Fourteen dynamic classes introduce you to the PHILOSOPHY of world religions — the history, founders, and essential teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native Spirituality, Rasta, Sikhism, Taoism, Wicca, and Zoroastrianism… blending current issues and ancient stories in an understandable and memorable way.
On a chartered bus you’ll make your way to more than twenty PLACES associated with these traditions including houses of worship, ethnic neighbourhoods, and restaurants. Your head will feel the cover of prayer caps, and your bare feet will walk across the cool stone floors and soft carpets of some of the largest temples in North America…literally experiencing world religions from head to toe. You’ll gain an appreciation for the variety and richness of approaches to the Sacred from the spectacular icons of Buddhism, Hinduism and Eastern Orthodoxy to the stark plainness and simplicity of a Muslim mosque, Zen meditation hall and open-air worship with Wiccans.
There you’ll meet the PEOPLE: rabbis, monks, imams, priests and priestesses, Zen masters, elders, shamans, and everyday practitioners and shopkeepers. You’ll have opportunity to engage in conversation with them, ask questions, and share stories and traditional foods. You may recognize these practitioners first as strangers…then as co-pilgrims in search of the Sacred…then as friends…then as brothers and sisters…and finally as extensions of yourself. In their faces you may see your own.
The PRACTICES of each tradition come alive as they are enacted before your eyes. You’ll hear the reading of sacred texts in their original languages and listen to the recitation of prayers and liturgies thousands of years old. Sometimes amid deep tolling Buddhist bells and sometimes lifted by the solitary voice of a Jewish cantor, you’ll observe first hand the performance of rituals that inform the lives of billions of people around the world.
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