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Introduction to Religion and Culture

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Interview with Dr. Matt Gabriele

1. What is the idea behind your class?

The main idea of the course is to introduce students to the Humanities generally, by focusing on how a specific theme – across different times and places – can be shaped by “religion” and “culture.” This can be anything from the topic of “Love” to “Apocalypse.”

2. What are your goals for your students in this class?

I want students to understand (or at least get a taste of) the excitement that can come from intellectual questions. The Humanities, and our Department of Religion & Culture specifically, love questions. We want our students to learn how to ask good questions – ones that can ultimately unlock problems in today’s world.

3. What are the “cool” or “fun” things you are doing this semester in your class that you would want showcased?

We do a lot of small group work. Every day is an opportunity to have a great conversation.

4. What is your opinion of CLEs, specifically your class being one?

CLEs should be taken more seriously. They shouldn’t just be a box to check off. They’re really the one chance you get in college to truly explore – and in the best sense. Go somewhere you’ve never gone before and open yourself up to a new experience. Be willing to just see what happens when you’re in a class.

(Interview by Caleigh Shaffer)

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