In our continuing video series Ask A Nun, Sister Nancy Dawson, General Superior of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, answers the question “What are your attitudes toward other religions?”
Sister Nancy Dawson:
Well, I’m an instructor at YSU [Youngstown State University] in the Philosophy and Religion Department., and I would have to say that my idea of other religions is the idea that we have more in common thank we have differences.
And I really enjoy the students – who come from all ages, ethnic backgrounds, religious backgrounds, racial backgrounds – and I try to show them the commonality and invite them to open their hearts to hear the beliefs and the stories, and the rituals, and the community life of all of these other religions, and to share their symbols and their artifacts.
I also try to teach them that when they respond to differences they can do that in a non-violent way and without dualistic thinking that one is right, and one in wrong. I teach them that God can be named many things from many different religions – Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, Brahman — but that we need to listen to their stories no matter what name we give to that reality.
I find teaching a wonderful way to positively influence young people today and I never cease to become a learner in those classes from the students I teach. Truly, I learn a great deal from them and I’m very grateful for the gifts they give to me and for the gifts God give me to give to them.
Wonderful question, thank you!
Contact the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-792-7636.