Students who practice Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism are not the only ones reading their scriptures.
A diverse collection of students at the University of Pennsylvania regularly share their beliefs with one another. The group, called, “Sharing Our Scriptures,” meets bi-weekly at the Spiritual and Religious Life Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Saul Kohn, a physics and astronomy graduate student, said the purpose of the group is to show connections between people.
“The group sees itself as a celebration of connectedness,” reported The Daily Pennsylvanian. Students are able to learn not just about other religions, but also about their own.
In a standard group meeting, each student brings and shares a scripture from their religion, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. This sparks an hour-long discussion of topics such as feminism in Islam and the definition of love. The students build insights as they connect their own experiences to the theme of the scripture.
Irteza Binte-Farid, co-founder and graduate student, said participants do not need to be an expert in their faith, nor consider themselves very religious to participate in the group.
Graduate student Gautam Nagaraj said the discussions have helped him see “different interpretations” of his faith. He said that “learning about religion is a unique way to learn what makes other people tick.”
Binte-Farid believes that the interfaith group brings positive changes in tumultuous times.
“Religion can be very beautiful and very unifying,” she said.