“It doesn’t matter what career I pursue — or life as a mother or friend — if I’m not a good person to step into that role.” Language as bridge Over the years, Linfield professors have taught classical languages – Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and others – as a bridge to reach students, regardless of theological differences. The training gives students an advantage when applying for graduate programs, but it also promotes understanding. By examining the language, students discover one word might have several meanings. “Theologically, we might be getting nowhere on issues, but if we look at the text we can have some interesting conversations,” said Millar. “I can choose this meaning and they can choose that one, and then we can have a conversation.” This was the case for Matt Davies ’10, who learned Greek with Millar. “I was hardheaded so we disagreed a lot,” he says with a laugh. “But my professors were gracious and we talked outside of class. That really resonated with me. Now, I try to Helping me live a better life... 1 2 - l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e Summer 2013 – Breanna Ribeiro ’14 mimic my Linfield professors in my own classroom (Chemeketa Community College).” Davies, who received a master’s in religion from Yale in 2012, applies his knowledge in the day-to-day. Following the Boston Marathon bombing, as rumors circulated regarding the suspects’ religious ties, Davies tried to facilitate positive conversations and correct misconceptions. “Religion is the biggest motivating factor in people’s lives, transcending family, politics and nation,” Davies said. “When you study religion, it changes the way you view the world.” Like many Linfield students, Ribeiro’s world view has changed significantly since walking into her first religious studies class as a freshman. She’s asking questions, looking for significance and drawing ties between disciplines to understand the world in a more meaningful way – all the tools to making a good life even better. — Laura Davis Glenna Kruger ’68 former chair, Linfield Board of Trustees literature major Religion classes were important to me. My religious education and perspective prior to college was quite narrow. I took classes from Paul Little and Gordon Frazee and was exposed for the first time to new ways of interpreting the Bible. It was freeing! That study really became the underpinning of a lifelong quest to better understand the origins of scripture and its meaning for our lives today. Chaim Kesler ’06 development director, Shaarie Torah religious studies major My work in politics, helping to turn out voters in Washington State, and now my work as development director at Shaarie Torah are ways that I’m able to apply my ethical concepts of social justice to my daily living. Voter suppression is a form of injustice, disproportionately impacting the working class, minorities and the elderly. In all that we do, political or otherwise, we must always be asking, "What am I doing here?" It is the fi rst step towards repairing the world.
Linfield Magazine #27
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