My World Is Not The World: How Christians in an Age of Conflict Should Respond to Political Polarization

Teacher: Everett Worthington

Dates: Nov 26, Dec 3, Dec 10, Dec 17, Dec 24, and Dec 31

Will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the manse.

It seems that society is polarized and getting more so. Even if we share the common Christian faith with other believers, we cannot count on conflict-free interactions. In this brief course, I try to move toward an understanding of why we have become so polarized and how we can negotiate this polarized political, religious, racial/ethnic, and nationalistic climate. The bottom line I’ll be aiming at is (a) political and religious humility and (b) convicted civility in our interactions.

I hope we can have some good conversations and come away feeling that we still love each other and might even be able to negotiate modern life with more empathy and understanding without compromising any principles.

Course objectives: (1) to understand (a) why society is so polarized and (b) why we react as we do (hint: It isn’t rational, logical, and explicit reasoning that drives us but emotions, motivations, values, and fit with situations); (2) to commit ourselves to a strategy of convicted civility in dealing with diversity (cultural, racial, religious, and political).