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Religion is fascinating. Beyond that, in a diverse world an understanding of religious traditions is essential to understanding people and peoples, history and current events. Religion is a powerful cultural force that shapes art, music, politics, philosophy, gender and sexuality, and human behavior. The RSC is a student group sponsored by the OSU School of History, Philosophy, and Religion that brings together students who share a fascination with religion. The RSC draws on the academic resources of the School to help students engage in inquiry, exploration, and discussion about religion as a social, cultural, and historical phenomenon.
Many of our members are students in the Religious Studies program, but all OSU students are welcome to participate. So are non-students, for that matter.
We delve into religion through the visitation of places of worship and spiritual grounds, religious meetings with local, national, and international speakers, and film screenings, in addition to student and faculty-led panels. We also socialize – a lot. We sponsor pizza feeds, hikes, you name it (well, sort of). By the way, we look to our members to suggest events and activities that may be of interest to the group. Many OSU students aren’t religious. Are they welcome in the RSC? Would they feel out of place at meetings? Our curiosity about religion is inclusive. We regard the word “religious” as being quite broad. Virtually any perspective that may be regarded as religious or spiritual is a suitable area for exploration, as far as the RSC is concerned.
The study of religion is based on intellectual curiosity about religion as a form of human experience. Personal faith orientations are secondary to basic curiosity about what religion is, what faith traditions teach, how religion shapes society and culture, etc. What we seek to foster is education and critical inquiry – in other words, what the university is all about. Secularists, skeptics and atheists are very welcome in the group. Adherents to traditional belief systems – Abrahamic, Asian, Native American, etc. – to New Age religions, or to no particular system, are as well. All we ask is that our members be respectful of perspectives that differ from their own.
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