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A Nun, a Rabbi and a Muslim Walk Into College...

November 8th, 2010

CINCINNATI-The Chatfield College Cincinnati location will host a course entitled Abrahamic Religions taught collectively by a nun, rabbi and an Islamic scholar in the spring semester beginning in January.

With current world-wide interactions among religious groups, some of which is adversarial, Chatfield will offer a course embodying three key religions to better educate its students on the commonalities and differences between Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

“We're presenting three different traditions all telling one story. We will highlight the differences between the religions depicted in historic and modern journalism as well as the story told through scriptures,” says Rabbi Margaret Meyer.

The class will begin with an introduction from Chatfield College chair of philosophy and religion, John Dvorachek, who will open the course with Biblical scripture and discuss the interpretation of Abraham and Jesus across the three religions.

“There is a glaring distinction between theology and the study of religion. We are shooting for an “awakening and inspiration” in the students. We want them to discover questions within that they never even knew existed,” says Dvorachek.


Each religious expert will be given four weeks to encapsulate their field in a way they deem most important, effective and efficient. Rabbi Meyer plans to discuss the topic that Judaism is much more than a religion and the aspects of history that led to the Jewish traditions that exist today. She will also give insight into her experience and perspective as a Jewish woman, including addressing the misconceptions of being a female rabbi.

Islamic Scholar Matthew Long will communicate the scientific and cultural contributions the Islamic religion has brought to America.

“I know that a lot of focus will surround terrorism and the war, but it is my goal to comb through the history of not only Islam in America, but America in the Middle East,” says Professor Long.

To some, holy books should not be interpreted, says Long. The instructors know they may face challenges to forming questions and opinions regarding scriptures.

“There are different ways of searching for the truth. We are going to explore three different roads,” says Sister Mary Ann Jansen, a member of the Ursulines of Brown County and long-time Chatfield faculty member.

All are welcome to enroll now in the Abrahamic Religions course, which begins January 18. The night class will be held once weekly from 6:40-9:10 p.m. make the course a feasible option for adult learners. Enroll online at: http://chatfield.edu/admissions/admissions-application

“We are expanding our scope to attract students from a broader population including urban business people who may be interested in taking this course simply to learn about this interesting and timely subject and for self-enrichment,” says Roger Courts, Dean.

Chatfield College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college offering the Associate of Arts degree in St. Martin and Cincinnati.  Chatfield is an open enrollment college and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  Prospective students need only to have a High School Diploma or GED to attend and will be guided individually through the enrollment and Financial Aid application process.  Chatfield College at Findlay Market is located at 1800 Logan Street; Cincinnati, OH  45202. For more information call 513-921-9859.

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