Reflecting on Book Presentations

Watching the in class book presentations these past two weeks has been enlightening. I have been able to once again see religion through a new lens, this aspect of the class has been my favorite. I am very confident and set in my faith so sometimes it helps to break away and open up my mind to new ideas. I have no interest in ever converting religions but I like having the chance to being more knowledgeable and accepting of others. One of the most compelling book presentations we had was Passionate Journeys: Why Successful Women Joined a Cult. I was intrigued by the drastic differences between a cult and a denominational religion. The experiences that they have are extremely different than those that I have grown up having. The concept of them all living in one big mansion was a surprise to me because that takes on a whole new meaning to what community is. Community can take on many shapes but this was one of the first times I had actually been taught about a cult. In the cult they all have the freedom to do what they want with one another and live freely with no commitments. That is something that I have never seen in my time studying denominational and secular religion. Denominations have very set rules and regulations in order to ensure that people will be able to get themselves saved and to Heaven. Another interesting book presentation was The Shared Parish, before this I had no idea this phrase stood for two different church groups sharing one space. I loved having this opportunity to learn from my peers.