Cornerstone Magazine Fall 2015 - Page 19

Sierra Summer Rains Lydia Yamaguchi ’14 Beneath The White, There Are Catholic Walls Lauren Galvan ’16 Religions are vast receptacles of human experience. It doesn’t matter which religion students are interested in; all religions offer profound ways of encountering human life. Religious studies is a highly interdisciplinary field; it can be a place where human learning and human knowledge are brought to bear on the quest for meaning. Religion doesn’t mean checking your brain at the door. It is intellectually challenging and exciting. It deals with the biggest questions of our lives. Most importantly, the study of religion is the study of people -- religion is something that people do. The existence of God may be fabricated, but religion exists! And it is worth studying. Of course, the same is true for literature, art, philosophy, the sciences. This is what makes being in a university such an endlessly powerful experience. What are you currently working on now? SH: My research involves a number of different areas of Byzantine Christianity. I work most often in Syriac Christianity. Syriac is a Christian language of the Middle East, a dialect of Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke); but I also work a lot in the Greek traditions. Right now I am working on women’s choirs, especially between the fourth and eighth centuries. I also continue to work on religion and the senses, a long-standing interest of mine. Don’t be afraid that faith and intellect are opposed. They aren’t. Working on the Syrian materials is both devastatingly painful and also urgent at this present historical moment of Middle East. These Christians have an incredible history. JS: Is there something you would like to say To students who particularly want to study Christianity, I would say: you can’t only study the beautiful parts. You can’t pretend the bad stuff isn’t there. You have to know how rel Y