Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Master of Religious Philosophy by Judith Wolf

Final Essay
Dr. Judith Wolf
This is the best course, maybe my favorite. Robert Chamberlain asks interesting and challenging questions and then presents different sides. The course involves you in the discourse by making you think. A real treat.
Of great surprise was the number of different religions there actually are in the world. Our usual Judeo/Christian view limits us in a variety of ways, but most importantly has the potential of limiting our understanding of how much we have in common with others in the world.
Regardless of how the presentation is organized (and the author presents many different ways), the most fascinating question to me is: Why do so many of us believe in a higher power? And how do we explain that this started eons ago. Religion is not a modern phenomenon. It goes back thousands of years. Do we in fact have a God gene? And if there is, how long ago did the gene appear?
Let's consider common ants. In their colonies there is a queen, drones and worker bees. Is the queen a focus of worship. Or birds, as they fly north and south following a leader, is the leader a focus of worship. How about ancient tribal chiefs and medicine men? And how about the concept of any monarch? Does the awe inspired by Kings and Queens fit into this paradigm?
If conclusions reached by Dr. Dean Homer in his research are correct, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of serotonin in a person's brain (determined by the concentration of serotonin receptors in the brain) and that person's degree of religiosity (how religious a person is). The course goes into this in greater detail, but suffice it to say the amount of serotonin is genetically determined. When you think about the fact that some people have a "religious calling," it simply boggles the mind. Incredible food for thought.
In spite of the depth of this course the question of whether or not there is a God cannot be answered definitively by us right now. As some wise person said to me one time, either there is a God or there isn't. If there isn't it doesn't matter, but if there is well….
And this brings us to faith. That all important concept. A discussion saved for another course, another time. Or isn't it necessary. Should we just believe and feel the blessing.

1 comment:

David S. Musick said...

"In the beginning, God...." From there the discourse fragments into hundreds of hypothesis for and against. Science is moving up toward a conclusion 'for', but not against. Their eyes, as yet, haven't put it together. The reason? The search is in the direction of physical proof not spiritual dimensions and revelations. So what if all the universe was created in a "Big Bang" explosion. The exisistance of God is not disproved. Who cares if man was formed over millions of years of evolutionary processing and natural selection. This theory does not undermine a grand design either. Really, it's found in a personal grasp of what it means to believe in "The God" and this is the whole premises of faith. When all the searching is done, all the religious studies are fulfilled and every scientific hypothesis exhausted; we are left with but one conclusion, "God Is"; and from there we are left with the daunting task of finding Him out. That quest narrows our search until we find at the end, there is only one way into the realms of the Divine Dimensions of God; and that is through the sacrificial atonement and shed blood of the creator Himself, Jesus Christ.