2021 Religion Capstones
Dr. Seth Dowland, Seminar in Religion
Thursday, May 27, from 2-4pm
“Operation Salvation: the Many Faces of Arctic Missions, Inc.”
Abstract: This paper locates Alaska’s Victory Bible Camps and the former Victory High School in the greater timeline of evangelical Christian education initiatives and explores the presentation of each entity to prospective campers or students, established supporters, prospective missionaries, and amongst the founders and members themselves.
Why I Majored in Religion: I majored in Religion because my grandpa once told me, “I don’t have to go to church to have a relationship with God.” That phrase has inspired me to continually challenge my own perceptions and the widely-accepted perceptions around me. Religion is worth trying (and often failing) to understand.
“Everyone Who Hangs On a Tree:
Curses and Ambiguity in Galatians 3:10-14”
Abstract: In Gal 3:10-14, Paul says that Christ bears the curse that is applied to “everyone who hangs on a tree’, as recorded in Deut 21:23. Paul chooses an interpretation of Deut 21:23 that falls out of line with Jewish interpretive tradition, leaving heavy implications about Paul’s view of scripture.
Why I Majored in Religion: I majored in Religion because learning about ancient beliefs and civilizations helps me to understand modern ones. Taking time to carefully and respectfully explore the beliefs of others has helped me to see value in other perspectives and motivates me to be a good neighbor.
“Celtic Roots in Christianity”
Abstract: I am doing my Capstone project on forms of Celtic tradition and values that appear in Christianity. Analysis of select passages from the Life of St. Brigit suggests the presence and importance of three pre-Christian ideals within an emerging Christian/Celtic culture that sought to retain and incorporate ancient ideals: fiery goddess, respect of nature, and freedom of movement for women.
Why I Majored in Religion: I majored in religion because both my parents are Lutheran pastors. Growing up I was never reprimanded for being interested in other religions, thus another reason for choosing religion was to learn about other religions than my own. Finally I was also really interested in religions role in helping solve our ecological crisis.
“Politics, Pragmatism, and a Seamless Garment:
American Catholicism Beyond Roe v. Wade”
Abstract: This work analyzes Joseph Bernardin’s Consistent Life Ethic, which seeks to expand “pro-life” beyond abortion prevention to include other social issues in its horizons. I argue that future widespread adoption of the ethic by American Catholics is highly unlikely due to the highly polarized nature of U.S. politics.
Why I Majored in Religion: There are too many reasons to list, and my reasons have changed over time, but I believe I am a much more nuanced thinker because of it.
“Moral Injury: A Product of a Failed and Sinful Society”
Abstract: Moral Injury has been plaguing individuals for ages. Many times, we understand Moral Injury as the aftermath of a sinful experience. And many times, those that suffer from Moral Injury believe themselves to be the source of such “punishment”. However when we look at sin at a much deeper level, we can understand that the result of Moral Injury is much more complex than “individual sin”. But that Moral Injury is the unfortunate consequence of social sin.
Why I Majored in Religion: I majored in Religion because it’s something that I’ve been interested in since I could remember. I’ve always been immersed in religion and so I found myself highly motivated to experience religion in more academic ways.
“Christ’s Power Through Action:
The Form and Function of Demons in Athanasius’s
Life of St. Antony”
Abstract: My research aimed to investigate the form and function of the demonic within the influential work of Athanasius, The Life of St. Antony. Ultimately, my research argues, the demonic is used intentionally in the work to elevate Christ as victorious over evil and give confidence to the Christian world because of this victory.
Why I Majored in Religion: I majored in religion because I believe religion is critical to examining humanity in all regards. Beginning to recognize that my own perceived world is in many ways tied to religion, and understanding that this is not unique to me or my beliefs, has made me want to study religion so I can begin to understand others and their worlds.