Deepening and Dialogue Lead to Greater Sympathy and More Effective Teaching
Barbara Henes of Germantown, Wisconsin, has taken Wilmette Institute deepening-and-dialogue courses on Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, as well as one on the Jewish Tanakh, and has learned how to approach seekers from other religions more effectively.
I think I mentioned this before in a deepening-and-dialogue class–the more I learn, the more I find and hopefully refine my own “teaching” methods. When taking the first course Christianity for Deepening and Dialogue the tendency was to “clobber” the seeker with “proof” that the Baha’i “theology” was the correct one and to disabuse them of what they may or may not have been taught about their own religious upbringing.
Deepening-and-dialogue courses cause me to listen more and find out what the seeker knows or believes and look for those common threads to discuss. I often find myself learning more about their tradition and religion than I started out with. And then it seems that because I am “truly” learning, they begin to trust me, and we grow into a mutual learning relationship. I find that I don’t need to ‘”teach” most seekers–they seem to know what they seek, just not how to find it. I can help, by listening and getting to know them and me better.