Old time Studies of Religion generally focussed on text studies in classrooms.  The modern method of experiencing various traditions by visiting places of worship led to an interesting experience for students of Emmaus Catholic College at Kemps Creek.

Visiting the new Mosque at Blacktown allowed Studies of Religion students the opportunity of meeting Islamic culture in the environment as well as some of the worshippers.

As the Bankstown Mosque has only recently opened, the Emmaus group was the first school to accept the invitation to visit.

“The hosts at the Mosque were visibly excited about us visiting”, said Mrs Mowbray, the Religious Education Leader of Learning.  “They spoke about how encouraging it was for them to know that young Christians are willing to try and understand the Islamic faith”.

As well as seeing the architectural features of the building and the reasons for this, the students noted the mandatory removal of shoes before entering.  Modest clothing and other rituals specific to Islam were explained.

“We were informed about the principal beliefs and ethnic teachings of the Islamic faith” Mrs Mowbray said, “and as well as being informative, this will help the students enormously in their understanding, assessments and exams”.

It was a very positive experience for the staff members of Emmaus who accompanied the group.  “We all had a chance to meet with a number of Muslim people of varying ages.  They welcomed questions on Islamic traditions and practices.  I was very pleased with the respectful way the Emmaus group acted and spoke, showing genuine interest and appreciation of the opportunity”, Mrs Mowbray concluded.

Future visits for the Studies of Religion groups include going to the Gallipoli Mosque in Auburn and the Synagogue in Bondi for insight into Judaism

Written By

Sharon Ellery

Sharon Ellery
Emmaus Catholic College

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