• 46°

Students study faith's traits

By Sarah Campbell
scampbell@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — Students at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College explored religious practices ranging from Islam to Confucianism to the gospel according to Harry Potter this week.
“I think it’s good to learn about new religions even if you’re not searching for one,” student Aaron Hancock Sr. said.
Five religion studies classes, taught by instructor Michelle Lyerly-Wiener, put together projects for the third annual Religious Diversity Exhibit.
“The idea is that we are promoting religious diversity and tolerance,” she said. “We’re not by any means out to convert anybody to anything, it’s more or less to raise awareness that there are these other religions out there.”
Lyerly-Wiener said students pick their own topics and get to work within weeks of starting the class. Displays range from cardboard tri-folds to elaborate structures like the one built by Hancock.
Hancock constructed a temple, similar to the one in Salt Lake City to pay homage to his roots.
“I’m a Latter-day Saint so I wanted to make something that meant something to me,” he said.
Student Tamara Marlowe’s project focused on cults.
“I’ve always been interested in the way people give their whole life to something and give up control of life or death,” she said.
Student Susan Hagee is taking her second religion class at Rowan-Cabarrus. Her project was about religious themes in the fictional world of Star Wars.
This year, she decided to stay in that same vein by focusing on the television series Star Trek.
“People probably don’t realize that although Star Trek is based in the future there are a lot of religious influences because it was made in the ’60s,” she said.
Student Will Wilson did his project on freemasonry after being inspired to learn more after reading the “The Hiram Key” by Chris Knight and Robert Lomas.
“It goes over the basic history of when the fraternity was formed, who they are and dispels some false information,” he said.
Wilson said while working on the project he learned that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Mark Twain are among the notable freemasons.
He said having the opportunity to explore other religions through the exhibit gave him even more insight into religions.
“It’s been very interesting to dispel the misconceptions we have about a certain group of people … it’s truly a shame,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he’s always been interested in finding out more about other cultures and his world religions class has been a kep stepping stone in that learning process.
“The way people worship is really one of the places you have to start to get insight,” he said.
Student Megan Sullivan said she was surprised to find out that many religions have a common thread that runs throughout.
“The basic teachings of Islam go along with Christianity, like being charitable and caring for people,” she said. “The only thing I knew before this project was that Islam was misunderstood because of 9/11.”
Margaret Winters, an adjunct English instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus, brought her Southern literature class to view the exhibit.
“We’re exploring the idea of what exactly is Southern literature and it’s not quite as simple as it may seem,” she said. “I thought it would be a great way to expand their minds.”
Winters said the religion exhibit parallels nicely with the concept of tolerance that is being explored in her classroom.
Lyerly-Wiener said she enjoys teaching religious studies because it gives her the opportunity to “open students’ eyes to other ways of seeing the sacred.”
“So many people grow up in a particular religion and don’t realize so much more is out there,” she said. “This is a good way to open your mind to new religions.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.

Comments

Comments closed.

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight

Crime

Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law

Nation/World

Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March

Coronavirus

NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly

News

Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain

Elections

Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full

Local

Kiwanis Pankcake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity

Coronavirus

Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread

Crime

Blotter: Man faces sexual exploitation charge for images on Instagram

News

Defendant convicted in attempted murder case on the run after fleeing from trial

Business

Downtown Gateway Building to be renamed for late Paul Fisher

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 data for April 15

Local

Rep. Warren’s bill would prohibit parking in electric vehicle charging stations

Local

Historic Preservation Commission approves Integro Technologies expansion, Paint the Pavement project

Education

Faith Academy, RSS will negotiate over what goes, stays in elementary school

Crime

Teacher killed in Alamance County shootout with Mexican drug cartel

Coronavirus

Bill would give more tax breaks on COVID-19 loans

Nation/World

No response as divers knock on capsized ship’s hull

Local

Quotes of the week

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday