Dr Anderson Jeremiah
MA. and MPhil (Madras University), BD (Bangalore), PhD (Edinburgh)
Growing up in India, surrounded by all of the colourful religious festivities, impressed upon me a fascination to understand how variedly we all relate with the supernatural and divine, expressing our spirituality in distinct ways. This curiosity propelled me to take the study of religion and its place in society seriously. Soon I recognised the plurality and diversity of religious expressions around me were so vast that I decided to pursue it through my own faith tradition, Christianity, making it a journey of self discovery. The complex yet creative mixture of society and religion in India provides a fertile ground for my continuing research.
Our globalised world communities are not only from different co-existing cultural backgrounds but also from various religious and faith-based communities making up our society. Having been predominantly a ‘Christian’ nation, Britain needs to come to terms with this changing ‘faith’ landscape. The growing presence of multiculturalism and multi-faith communities calls for a better understanding of ourselves and our neighbours. The study of religion is all the more important in university environments where students prepare themselves to face often socially polarised views on religion and possibly challenge them in due course.
Teaching for me is a genuine process of sharing knowledge and enabling students to broaden their horizons so that they will be able to see the world differently. I feel there is a biographical element to teaching ‘religion’, which makes the subject lively. I find multi-disciplinary approach in studying religion hugely helpful.