St. Xavier’s College will introduce a two-credit foundation course in Inter-Religious Studies and Social Harmony from this academic session.
The course, being offered by the department of human development, is aimed at “promoting national integration and appreciation for all religious traditions and values”.
“A student, when he or she leaves the portals of St. Xavier’s College must leave with greater knowledge and appreciation of multi-religious realities of India,” said Father Felix Raj, the principal of the college.
The course will be compulsory for all students of St. Xavier’s. It will introduce them to the major doctrines and practices of three world religions — Hinduism, Christianity and Islam — and aim to inculcate in them a sense of respect and appreciation for all religions and traditions and enhance social harmony and inter-religious dialogue and appreciation in the country.
Like other regular courses, the course in Inter-Religious Studies and Social Harmony will have lectures and examinations. Teachers will use several activities such as interactions, social immersion, group discussions, visuals, individual and group critical reflection and evaluation.
Forty-five professors of the college have volunteered to teach the course and they will attend an orientation programme on June 6 and 7 at Dhyan Ashram, Joka. The orientation will be addressed by Swami Atmapriyananda, the vice-chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Abu Taleb Khan, the vice-chancellor of Aliah University, and Father John Romus, the dean of Morning Star College.
“We will need 28 teachers for the first year. They will be selected from among those attending the orientation,” said Felix Raj.
A foundation course on personality development will also be offered by the department.