Applicants sought for 2012 ‘Many Faiths, One Humanity’ interfaith travel study experience
Hendricks Chapel is currently seeking 15 undergraduate and graduate students from Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry—from a variety of faith traditions—for its 2013 “Many Faiths, One Humanity” Interfaith Travel Study Experience to London.
The trip will take place March 6-17, 2013 (SU’s Spring Break week). The deadline for applications to be returned to the Office of the Dean at Hendricks Chapel is Friday, May 4.
The study experience is much more than travel—it is an exploration of the rich and complex dynamics of life in a global, religiously plural city. Participants in the program will gather to share personal experiences and explore historic and contemporary religious pluralism before traveling to London.
In London, the group will engage living communities of many faith traditions and life stances and learn concrete strategies for collaborative action. Students will work with Zah Rasul, artist in residence for Hendricks Chapel, to document their journey through writing and drawing. Upon returning to Syracuse, participants will present their work on campus through word and image.
“Many Faiths, One Humanity is an exciting opportunity to explore the world through the lens of diverse faith traditions,” says Tiffany Steinwert, dean of Hendricks Chapel. “Traveling together students not only learn more about the world, but also discover more about themselves and each other. London offers us a rich context for navigating and negotiating the complex layers of contemporary religious pluralism.”
The trip is designed as an invitation to do the hard work of continuing conversation, cooperation and respect that is a lifetime experience. Participants are not asked to ignore the unique claims of their own faith traditions—a goal of the trip is to create an opportunity for each participant to understand their own tradition on a deeper level. Each should be willing to work at understanding the claims of diverse faiths.
“What we all learned on this trip was that no matter how many differences people have in what they believe or think, we in the end are all the same and equal,” says Immad Khalid, a participant in the 2011 Many Faiths trip. “We are all human, we all have emotions, we all have thoughts and we all have heart.”
“Those of you reading this in hopes of your experiences on the trip, don’t even question it: go. One way or another you are going to come out feeling life a different person and have a family at your back,” says 2011 participant Ashley Marshall.
The tentative 2013 itinerary includes a walking tour of Bloomsbury; Juma Prayers at Regent’s Park Mosque; Shabbat Service at New London Synagogue; day trips to Avebury , Glastonbury and Oxford; visits to the Imperial War Museum, Tibetan Peace Garden and Buddhist Society; a visit to Hindu Mandir in Neasden and more.
Before the trip, participants will be required to participate in a writing workshop and weekly meetings. Following the trip, there will be four follow-up class sessions to plan for public dissemination of the experience to the University community.
Those interested in applying should answer the following three questions in no more than four pages, typed and double-spaced. Include your name, SU/SUNY-ESF ID, school, year and major, home and campus addresses, phone numbers and e-mail address.
The questions are:
1. Describe your commitment to your particular faith tradition or life stance and how it informs your understanding of the world and humanity;
2. Describe significant experiences you have had outside your faith and cultural group; and
3. What do you hope to bring home from the experience, related to your goals for academics, career aspiration and campus/community living.
For more information, visit Hendricks Chapel website: http://hendricks.syr.edu.