Imagining New Stories of Race and Religion


Location: Zoom Webinar

Professor David Hooker

Thursdays, 6:30 - 7:45 p.m.

January 14 - March 4

Virtual class (registration required)

Free and open to the public

We live our lives in stories. Stories tell us who we are, what we owe to others and the past, what worlds we inhabit in the present, and where we want to go in the future. They help us fight oppression, though they can also justify it, or make certain kinds of oppression invisible. But the world is changing. Perhaps, our stories need to change with it.

In this course, participants will be introduced to narrative theory to examine the role of religion and race in local and global conflicts. The stories we tell ourselves position people and groups as characters in asymmetric power relations. They shape our expectations, craft our ideals, nurture our ambitions, construct authority, and provide us with a moral compass. Racialized narratives of religions can create conflict, while certain narratives of race and religion also have the potential to heal and form community.

Using case studies that the instructor is directly engaged in, participants will explore how approaches to “religious” or “racial” history, mission, and dialogue contribute to local, regional, or global reconciliation efforts. Our weekly meetings will be guided by brief written material and short videos. If we can imagine new stories, we can change the world.

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