Knox College students have launched a new publication that encourages religious dialogue and represents what its editors describe as “a continuation of our desire to learn from, and grow with, one another.”
In an editors’ note, co-editors-in-chief Yumna Rathore and Kyle Cruz wrote that they hope “this journal will go a long way toward bridging some of the gaps of understanding that still separate us from one another. We believe it is always necessary to think and speak intelligently about issues concerning faith.”
Knox College faculty member James Thrall, the Knight Distinguished Assistant Professor for the Study of Religion and Culture, serves as Fusion advisor.
“The journal was very much a student-generated project, from the initial idea to the writing and editing,” Thrall said. “I have been quite impressed with their energy in making the journal come to be, and with their thoughtfulness in conceiving of the journal’s purpose.”
Knox College’s religious studies program entered a new phase last year, with the appointment of Thrall to a new faculty position — the Knight Distinguished Chair for the Study of Religion and Culture. He is the first full-time faculty member specifically in the field of religious studies since the retirement in 1983 of William Matthews, who taught religion and served for 30 years as college chaplain.
In introducing the Fusion journal, the students hope to “encourage religious dialogue without inflaming religious competition or antagonism, and to advance religious knowledge without proliferating religious misinformation,” he said.
Along those lines, the debut issue is based on the theme of “demystification,” Cruz said. “That is, our writers chose articles that attempted to deconstruct some of the more common misconceptions surrounding the faiths they adhered to or represented.”
For example, the inaugural issue includes articles with these titles: “Fear of the Veil: Suppression of Muslim Women in France,” “Karma in Hinduism,” and “Mary in Catholic Theology.”
Any Knox student is welcome to contribute to the journal, Cruz said, adding: “All writers are asked to submit articles that have balanced perspectives, have been well-researched and (have been) properly formatted, just like any Knox paper.”
Contributors to the inaugural issue of the journal were:
- Chelsea Coventry ’12, Decatur, Illinois, author of “Mary in Catholic Theology.”
- Kyle Cruz ’13, Phnom-Penh, Cambodia, co-editor-in-chief and author of “Rejoicing in Tribulation: The Christian View of Suffering.”
- Hali Engelman ’12, Salt Lake City, Utah, publishing editor.
- Benjamin Greuter ’12, Waynesboro, Tennessee, author of “Nietzsche Was Right, Elitist Views Aside.”
- Supriya Kasaju ’12, Kathmandu, Nepal, publishing editor.
- Tanvi Madhusudanan ’13, Chennai, India, author of “Karma in Hinduism.”
- Andrei Papancea ’14, Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania, Web designer.
- Yumna Rathore ’12, McLean, Virginia, co-editor-in-chief and author of “Fear of the Veil: Suppression of Muslim Women in France.”
- Kevin Wirasamban ’13, Muscat, Oman, publishing editor.