Documenting Diversity: Religious Perspectives in Oral History
We often struggle to understand the religious beliefs of others in history and in the present. "How can they believe that?" is a common question. In addition, we are bombarded by sensational media coverage of religious groups and the skeptical (if not cynical) inquiries and exposes of celebrities such as Bill Maher in his recent film, "Religulous." This project was developed out of the conviction that documenting the religious memories and beliefs of local subjects and the impact they have had on their lives will help us develop more empathy with representatives of diverse religious groups and a more nuanced understanding of religious belief.
This project is directed by Dr. Karin Gedge and Dr. Helen Schroepfer, both of West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Karin Gedge, Professor of History, teaches upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of religion in the United States. Dr. Helen Schroepfer, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Co-director of Religious Studies, designed a general education course on Religion in the United States for undergraduates across all majors and regularly teaches a course on Women and Religion.