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World Religions - Honors Experience

Posted by Dr. David Restrick on Dec 1, 2015 1:48:14 PM

WorldReligions.pngOne of the highlights of working with the World Religions – Honors class is being able to visit several religious sites around the Boston area to experience first-hand how followers of other faiths practice their faith. This practice was established several years ago when Dr. Eric Severson was a professor here at ENC, and in addition to maintaining contact with the various religious leaders, he has also traveled back to ENC to guide us on our visits. The first experience was at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, a center for Buddhist meditation serving the greater Boston/Cambridge area. As the name implies, the central focus of this center is on Buddhist meditation. Students participate and observe the 45-minute meditation center and then hear a lecture from a proponent of Buddhism. Following the Buddhist experience, students visit the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society near Kenmore Square. Here the local Hindu monk, Swami Tyagananda spends about an hour talking with students and answering questions. Then we have the privilege of attending his private afternoon vespers service, experiencing the sight and sounds, along with the incense, that characterizes a typical Hindu meditation service. On a Friday afternoon the group attends Friday Prayers at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s mosque in Sharon, MA. This relatively small community has embraced our ENC students, warmly welcoming us to their regular Friday prayer service, and then spending considerable time afterward responding to questions and clarifying any misunderstandings that might be expressed by the students. Rounding out the experience is a Saturday morning visit to Temple Beth Shalom, the Jewish synagogue in Milton, MA. Here students not only observe the Torah service, but Rabbi Benjamin warmly encourages our group to respond to his questions, to ask questions, and to share in the readings. This service is followed by light refreshments and students are able to meet and discuss the Jewish faith with the members present, as well as spend time with Rabbi Benjamin asking questions.

We are grateful to Dr. Severson for his assistance in establishing and maintaining these connections, and we are especially grateful to these religious communities for the warm welcome they extend to our ENC students.

Written by Dr. David Restrick

Dr. David Restrick teaches several courses in the religion and philosophy department. Dr. Restrick is a 1973 graduate of Eastern Nazarene College, in Quincy, MA. From 1975 to 1978 David served as a member of the Peace Corps assigned as a math and science teacher at Nazarene High School in Manzini, Swaziland. While working in Swaziland, David met and married Rhoda Coldwell, a nurse and midwife from Sheffield, England. Upon completion of their terms of service in Swaziland, David continued his studies at Nazarene Theological Seminary where he earned his M.Div. degree. He has done further graduate work at Boston University School of Theology earning an STM degree in 1990 and completing his ThD in church history and missions in 2001. From 1989, David and his wife have served as a global missionary with the Church of the Nazarene assigned to the country of Mozambique. David served as Academic Dean and professor of the Seminário Nazareno em Mozambique located in the capital city, Maputo. They officially retired from missionary service at the end of April, 2014.

Topics: Education, Faith, Academics, ENC Life, Christian Community