Thursday, October 15, 2009

Building Your Own Theology Class, Week 2

Participants discussed significant life experiences in this week's class, discerning how the terms "religious" and "spiritual" may or may not apply to them. Last week's readings* included brief excerpts from a number of writers who considered "peak," "plateau," and "valley" life experiences and class participants had the homework assignment of writing their own versions of these three types of experiences. In class we also discussed which of the readings were the most significant for those in the group.

Next week our class topic will be "Human Nature: Some Self Understanding." This week's readings include a series of quotations. Students are asked for next time to select between one and three that most closely resemble their own beliefs about human nature and between one and three that they most disagree with. One of the quotations is from Virginia Satir's People Making:

I am convinced that there are no genes to carry the feeling of worth. It is learned. And the family is where it is learned. ... Feelings of worth can only flourish in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible-the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family. ... Since the feeling of worth has been learned, it can be unlearned, and something new can be learned in its place. The possibility for this learning lasts from birth to death, so it is never too late. ... There is always hope that your life can change because you can always learn new things.

Do you agree with Satir that "worth" is learned? If so, how do we learn our worth? What do you do in your life to communicate worth to the people you care about (or anyone you meet)? Leave a comment below in order to continue the discussion.

Readings are taken from Richard S. Gilbert's Building Your Own Theology and are available online only for the limited duration of this class and for educational use only.

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