Musings of a Mormon: Reflections on My Time at Notre Dame


#1

I recently attended a theological conference in Missouri. As I drove down a residential street near my childhood home I passed a house with a Notre Dame flag in the front yard. I was immediately seized by an almost overwhelming desire to stop the car, walk up to the house and introduce myself. It was as though I had found a long-lost cousin who I knew would be happy to see me. Most Notre Dame alumni will relate to what I was feeling. Once you’ve attended Notre Dame you forever feel a connection with and love for fellow alumni and for this great institution.

            My experience is a bit different than that of most who have attended the University of                 Our Lady of the Lake. I'm a Mormon - a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day                 Saints. Actually, I was reared Greek Orthodox, converted to Mormonism, then studied theology                 at a Catholic university and a Protestant seminary. It's probably no surprise that I ended up                 teaching world religions for a living. I suppose Clement of Alexandria would refer to me as a *stromateis *- a patchwork of sorts. I've been influenced by many traditions and many approaches                 to [God and religion.]("http://www.nd.edu/%7Endmag/sp2007/gaskill.html")

#2

Thanks for the link. That’s a great article.

Some interesting points:

A conversation I had with another graduate student - a nun - is indelibly engraved on my memory and soul. Speaking of a lecture given the previous evening she began to heavily criticize John Paul II - not for some specific position he held but because she loathed the man. Suddenly I found myself coming to his defense - not only supportive of many of his positions but of who he was as a human being. Partway through the conversation I was struck with the irony of the situation - a Mormon, at Notre Dame, defending the pope against a Catholic nun. I now see that odd exchange as evidence of the love I developed for the Catholic tradition.

Ain’t nothing quite like Catholicism. Everyone hates us, we sometimes even hate ourselves.

And this one below is almost interesting enough to post in the Eastern Religions section. Something tells me that this is not the (EO version of) infallible.

I’ll forever remember a Sunday-school lesson I had as a 12-year-old Greek Orthodox boy, in which I was told that infants who died without baptism would go to hell - not limbo, hell!


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