Making Meaning in a time of Media Polarization

Code: IPI5/717

Dates: May 15, 2023 - June 12, 2023

Class schedule: Monday, May 15th, 10am – 3pm (in-person or via Zoom) | Conference dates: May 30-June 1 (In-person or via Zoom), Monday, June 12th, 10am – 3pm (in-person or via Zoom)

Purpose: This course offers an opportunity to prepare for, attend, and reflect on VST’s Inter-Religious Conference on the theme “Making Meaning in a time of Media Polarization.” At the conference, which will be a real-time event, accessible both in-person and via Zoom, presenters will explore the following theme:

Religious and spiritual teachers help people interpret their experiences and find meaning in their lives. This work is urgently needed in our time. Radio, television, and news groups sow polarization. Social media cultivates outrage. In the public sphere, disinformation mixes freely with information. People learn narrow understandings of religion, society, and politics.

How, then, should spiritual leaders and scholars of religion proceed? How can they offer wise guidance? Help others discern ethical paths of action? Reach out across divides in mutual understanding? Draw on scriptural and traditional resources to speak with integrity?

Course Dates:

  • In person or Zoom attendance at Inter-religious Studies Conference:o   May 30 (5:00-6:00, 7:00-8:30 pm)

    o   May 31 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm; 7:00-8:30 pm)

    o   June 1 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)

    • Pre- and Post- conference class sessions (in person or via Zoom):

    o   Monday, May 15 (10:00 am – 3:00 pm)

    o  Monday, June 12 (10:00 am – 3:00 pm)

    Conference Page Link:

    Zoom Option:   This entire course (conference & classes) may be taken via Zoom.  Please register for the online option only if you are participating in the entire course via Zoom. 

    On-Site Option:  If you will attend any portion of this course in person (either the conference, the classes, or both), please register for the ‘on-site’ version.

Note:  tuition for this course includes registration in the Conference.  Students do not need to register for the Conference separately.