Better Together Week 2017

Better Together Week

If you think of yourself as religious or spiritual—or if you decidedly don’t think of yourself as religious or spiritual—that identity can be fundamental to your worldview, your values, and your way of life. How can Miamians engage constructively with one another around this dimension of our identities?

In honor of National Better Together Day on April 6, 2017, the Religious, Spiritual, and Secular Initiatives Coordinating Committee and the Ford Family Initiative for Spirituality, Meaning, and Purpose are hosting a week of programming focused on interfaith understanding. Come build up your intercultural competence!

Schedule of Events

April 3 (Monday)

6:45 p.m. - Making sense of evangelical-Mormon interfaith dialogue

Where: Community Lounge, Armstrong Student Center

Who: John-Charles Duffy, Department of Comparative Religion

What: Starting in the late 1990s, a surprising interfaith dialogue developed between evangelical Protestants and Mormonssurprising because both of those groups have a history of wariness toward interfaith dialogue. The evangelical-Mormon dialogue is an intriguing case of two theologically conservative groups devising their own way of practicing pluralism in today's America.

Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served starting at 6:00 p.m.; the talk will begin between 6:45 and 7:00.

Organized by: Comparative Religion Student Association

April 4 (Tuesday)

5:30 p.m. - Interactive yoga demonstration

Where: Pavilion B, Armstrong Student Center

Who: Holly Wilson and Dr. Terri Messman-Moore

What: People practice yoga for different reasons, ranging from rigorously religious, to flexibly spiritual, to entirely secular. Our facilitators will present information about different practices of yoga and provide an interactive demonstration of each type. The three types of yoga that will be shared are

  • Kundalini yoga, as a spiritual practice
  • physical yoga, as a secular practice
  • Ashtanga yoga, a practice that draws from both perspectives

Organized by: Comparative Religion Student Association

April 5 (Wednesday)

4:00 p.m. - Science and faith at Miami in the 19th century

Where: Community Lounge, Armstrong Student Center

Who: Nicholas Money, Western Program director

What: The early presidents of Miami University were Presbyterian ministers, and religious instruction was a key part of Miami's charter. Religious dissent was common among students, and faculty became embroiled in conflicts between science and religion in the 19th century. Although the privilege afforded to Christianity at Miami was challenged after the Civil War, our "monkish and deluded past" continues to taint the academy today.

Organized by: Secular Students of Miami

5:30-7:00 p.m. - Interfaith supper and talk ("Spiritual But Not Religious")

Where: Interfaith Center (16 S. Campus Avenue)

Who: Scott Wagar, Department of English

What: Come for free supper and a talk. "Spiritual but not religious," or SBNR, has emerged as an identity marker claimed by a significant portion of the U.S. population, including some churchgoers and atheists as well as those staking out various positions in between. Dr. Wagar's talk will explore SBNR's implications for public rhetoric and for how college students articulate their religious and spiritual identities. 

Organized by: Interfaith Circle

7:00 p.m. - Socrates Café

Where: Interfaith Center (16 S. Campus Avenue)

Who: Joe Hawkins, Office of Residence Life

What: Socrates Café gatherings bring people from different backgrounds to exchange their philosophical perspectives in a thoughtfully developed way, based on their unique experiences. The gatherings, which have been organized at sites all over the world, are facilitated using a version of the Socratic Method that was developed by Socrates Café founder Christopher Phillips.

Organized by: Interfaith Circle

April 6 (Thursday)

10:00-2:00 p.m. - Painting tiles with "You’re Fired!"

Where: Shade Stage, Armstrong Student Center

Who: You! With tiles and painting supplies provided, for free, by You're Fired!

What: Stop by the Shade Family Room anytime between 10:00 and 2:00 to paint a tile in a way that represents your religious, spiritual, or philosophical identity, or that represents what "better together" means to you. Refreshments and interesting discussion guaranteed!

You can pick up your tile after it's been firedor, if you choose not to pick it up, the Interfaith Center will use your tile as part of an art display.

Organized by: Interfaith Center interns, in conjunction with Interfaith Circle, Hillel at Miami University, Catholic Campus Ministry, Progressive Christians, and Kappa Phi.

2:00-5:00 p.m. - Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation Table

Where: Slant Walk table, Armstrong Student Center

What: The Cooperation Table provides you the opportunity to engage in conversation about coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, two disparate communities who also work together in many ways. Come learn about the various ways in which Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs are building bridges towards creating peace.

Organized by: Hillel at Miami University

5:30-7:00 p.m. - Interfaith Journey to Israel

Where: Interfaith Center (16 S. Campus Avenue)

What: "Israel: Many Faces, Many Traditions, Many Lessons." Journey with us to a land that transforms the spirit, broadens perspectives, and enhances life experiences.

Organized by: Hillel at Miami University

April 7 (Friday)

1:30-5:00 p.m. - Interfaith Day of Service

Where: Interfaith Center (16 S. Campus Avenue) 

What: Interfaith Day of Service is an opportunity for students of different religious, spiritual, and secular identities to come together and make a positive impact in the Oxford community.  Participants volunteer in groups at various sites, then return to the Interfaith Center for reflection and group dialogue over dinner.

Register online

Organized by: Office of Community Engagement and Service

Sponsors

Ford Family Initiative for Spirituality, Meaning, and Purpose • Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Initiatives Coordinating Committee • Comparative Religion Student Association • Kappa Phi Sorority • The Interfaith Center • Hillel: Association of Jewish Students • Hillel at Miami University • Secular Students at Miami University • Office of Community Engagement and Service