by Steven Misho, Staff Writer
Members of various faiths responded to the question “Is religion the opium of the masses?” at a discussion hosted by Gonzalo Puerta of the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) on Oct. 12.
Seven students attended the event in room 1647 alongside a graduate from DePaul University, two acquaintances of Puerta’s from the country of Colombia and Truman profs Rudra Dundzila and Olga Ruiz, who sponsored the event.
After refreshments, Puerta asked the 12 attendees for personal introductions and to respond to the topic at hand, which they did with personal spiritual beliefs and life experiences to tell their stories. The discussion fostered camaraderie among the attendees, as they joked and sympathized with one another over the subject matter.
Psychology professor and IFYC adviser Olga Ruiz believes that religious and philosophical discussions can “enhance the concept of pluralism at Truman (and help us understand) our differences and our similarities.”
The IFYC aims to build awareness of religion and philosophy across college campuses through “religious pluralism”, which their official web site defines as “respect for people’s diverse religious and non-religious identities,” “mutually inspiring relationships between people of different backgrounds” and “common action for the common good.”
Humanities professor and IFYC adviser Dundzila also says that we are still discovering the definition of pluralism in the U.S. He explained that the United States was founded by Christian groups that bickered and was then populated by various other faiths and backgrounds over time to make the diverse nation we live in today.
IFYC meets Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m in room 1947.