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Author Topic: Western Civ class becomes Bible Lesson -- WWYD  (Read 4924 times)
Waldfrau
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Religion: polytheistic witch leaning towards Reclaiming
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« Reply #11: March 02, 2008, 02:14:26 pm »

To be honest, I have a hard time with this one.  My first reaction on reading the post was you might be being a bit over-sensitive.  This doesn't reflect on you, but was caused by the fact that I have encountered so many pagans who would consider any mention of Christianity to be "preaching."  Since the influence of Christianity is a vital part of the history of Western Civilization for the last 2000 years, that would be a serious over reaction in this particular class.
Me too, not saying you're oversensitive, but could you be misinterpreting your prof's intentions? I must say that I've never studied in the US and can't imagine a prof/docent preaching in history class, if that's common in the US there's a chance that you are right.

It sounds like it was the first lesson and it's a usual teaching tactic to 'fetch students where they are'. Your teacher would assume that many Christians know a few things about antiquity and go for the Christian angle to activate that knowledge.

I had a wonderful teacher in middle age literature and there wouldn't be any lesson without theology (well, it's the middle age). You could tell by the tone of her voice that she didn't like the celtic stuff, but only by her tone. She would make sure that everyone knew about the possible linking of the communion chalice with the cauldron of Ceridwen for example. She wouldn't miss all the atrocities the church did or the ridiculous stuff it taught either, though you could tell by her voice when she adored a specific medieval theologist (such as Johannes Scotus Eriugena, lol) and disapproved of another. When she talked about ancient 'fertility cults' with a slightly hint of disgust or estrangement in her voice, I just rolled my eyes. She wouldn't preach against it, but explain it in a scientific manner. So I always loved her lecture although I don't like the Catholic church. The important thing for me was that I learned loads of interesting stuff - and Christian theology is interesting, even if you don't believe in it. (Well, the point was, she didn't teach theology for itsself, but linked it with everything else that was going on in the middle ages.) There was also an atheist teacher teaching the same subject, but I didn't like her lessons that much.

If you're sure your teacher is preaching I would just go to his office hours and tell him you have the impression that he is preaching, but you're sitting in his classes for history. If he really does teach wrong history and continues with it, I'd talk with other students, older ones if you find some. You may not be the first one to notice this and probably the can help you. Is there a student self organization in the US? Do you have a college news paper?
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My blog: http://waldhexe.wordpress.com/ (English and German entries)

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