Religion is a powerful force that organizes our view of the world. It helps shape our behaviors, morals, and values. It contributes to our personal and collective identities. Differences in religious beliefs and values effect how we construe and relate to the “other”. Larger geo-sociopolitical realities can polarize religious differences, thereby creating and sustaining a division of “us and them”.
Interfaith Group Forming
Dr. Raymond F. Bakaitis, who is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at U.C.L.A., will be leading a group of Christians and Muslims in a unique program of self discovery.
This is not a typical interfaith group. Instead, it will explore questions of religious differences through an examination of the members’ own conscious and unconscious views of each other.
The group will be composed of members from diverse backgrounds, Muslim and Christian. Members will be individuals who hold or aspire to positions of leadership and initiative in their community, whether that be in business, religious, educational, political, or social services.
If you are interested in leadership, communication, or conflict resolution you may especially benefit from the group. We will use a group relations approach to examine our own experiences, in the here and now, to discover how differences may operate dynamically in our own group. The goal is for participants to gain a deeper understanding of identity dynamics, which they then can draw upon to work more effectively in their leadership positions in their own organizations and communities.
King Fahad Mosque in Culver City and Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Westchester are sponsoring this group.
The group will be composed of members from diverse backgrounds, Muslim and Christian. The goal is to get 10 members from each group, with a total of 20 participants.
Participants will be individuals who hold or aspire to positions of leadership and initiative in their community, whether that be in business, religious, educational, political, or social services.
MYSA – Youth Center, 10980 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Day and Time:
The group will meet on a Saturday February 28, 2015 from 10:00 am -2:00 pm
Along with Dr. Bakaitis, Nevfel Boz (Project Scientist at UCLA) and Nabeeha Aleem (Psychology graduate from UCI) will be facilitators of the group.
If you have any questions please email us at: [email protected]
Muslim – Christian Study Group Questions
What are my biases and prejudices? I how do become of aware of my biases? How do I manage my biases?
How do I respond to how “the other” perceives me? Do I ever unconsciously enact the characteristics that the other attributes to me? Do I ever inhibit parts of myself because I do not want to conform to what the other expects of me?
What roles do I typically take in groups and organizations? What roles am I taking on in this group? How might religious identities be a factor determining who takes on what roles in our group?
How do I experience the authority and leadership of someone whose religious identity is different from my own? How do I respond to that person’s authority? How do I experience the authority and leadership of someone whose religious identity is similar to my own?
When does a focus on “the other” religious group serve to distract attention from differences within my own religious group.
What composes my religious identity? Beliefs, spiritual experiences, values, fears, needs for belonging, needs for status, needs for safety, parental and social teachings can all be parts of my religious identity. What aspects of my identity are most threatened by “the other”?