Religion and Politics
Posted 10/18/2010 01:00AM
The Berkshire History department is offering two new courses this year: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity and Modern Middle East Politics. In addition to the normal classroom components, Berkshire has teamed up with Bridges of Understanding to find a partner school in the Middle East to have video conference with once a month. Bridges of Understanding is a non-profit, non-political organization devoted to supporting projects and efforts that foster better understanding between the American people and people of the Arab world. Starting in November, Berkshire will have monthly video conferences with members from the Amman Baccalaureate School in Jordan.

The classes will be taught by Kevan Bowler who is finishing up his Master of Arts degree in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations this fall at Hartford Seminary. “I am excited about this unbelievable opportunity for our students,” Bowler said. “It is important for our students to learn as much as possible about these religions and cultures in order to better understand the global community in which they live. Talking with people of different faiths and cultures is the best way for our students to tear down stereotypes and some of the more common misconceptions prevalent in our society.” In preparation for this incredible event, Mr. Bowler’s classes have been pouring over the Hebrew Bible, The New Testament, and the Qur’an. They also have attended a Jewish service and will be visiting a Christian mass and a service at mosque.