Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Berkey
At the request of Dr. Berkey, I will be giving a presentation on my travels using the Hanifi Grant through the Dean Rusk international studies department. The grant is available for any student to travel abroad and do an independent exploration of any religion that is not their own in any country outside the U.S. For my project, I decided to explore Islam in India due to my familial connection (paternal side) to the faith and desire to learn more about it. In my presentation, I plan to focus lecture and dialogue around the 4 cities I traveled to Delhi, Agra, Hyderabad, and Mangalore. I plan to discuss how Islam varied across the 4 cities, and what I was able to learn about the faith as I interviewed people in each city. Specifically, I will focus on how my textual knowledge of reading the Quran began to contrast with the knowledge I was receiving from those who had a lived experience of the faith. Further, I will offer commentary on the formal and informal things I learned about Mosques, Darhgas, and other Muslim spaces I was able to enter: comparing and contrasting them to the Christian and Unitarian Universalist spaces I’m familiar with. Finally, I will also speak about the Dean Rusk application process, the difficulties and wonders of traveling outside the US/Canada for the first time, what it’s like to be on one’s own in a foreign country, and how/where textual and experiential knowledge diverge.