Martin Kilbridge
Teacher of Religion
McQuaid Jesuit High School

Dear Fr. Clooney,

I am not the chair of the religion department at McQuaid Jesuit, but as the person who teaches World Religions to our seniors, I am perhaps the best person to respond to your appeal.

About twenty-five percent of our students are non-Catholic. Approximately five percent are non-Christian. We stuggle therefore to make our curriculum one which imbues our students with a solid foundation in Catholic biblical interpretation, Church history and moral theology, while engaging our non-Catholic students in dialogue and understanding. In practice, we tend to preface specifically Catholic interpretations with statements such as, "The Catholic Church says..." while generally using historical-critical methods in presenting scripture and history. What few concerns are raised by students and parents tend to come from those who interpret the bible literally. In which case, we tell them to treat as they would evolution in their biology classes; they need to learn the material even if they don't believe it.

The world religions elective I teach to seniors is popular, but not especially so among non-Christians. We focus on three major religions which get little treatment in the rest of the curriculum: Hinduism, Buudhism and Islam. I tend to look most closely at mystical elements within these religions as a way of seeing religious experience across traditions. We read the Bhagavad-Gita, poems of rumi and Zen poetry and stories.

The web site I've designed for my courses can give you an idea of what we do: http://www.monroe.edu/~mcq/rel/World%20Religions.html

I hope this information is helpful.

Martin Kilbridge
Teacher of Religion
McQuaid Jesuit High School


Created: February 17, 2001 Updated: February 17, 2001