Dr. Christopher Dodsworth ~ A Semester in Italy
In true Jesuit tradition, Dr. Christopher Dodsworth, chair of the philosophy department at Spring Hill College, embarked upon a new adventure in May—a journey which allows him to share his knowledge of philosophy and religion with students from around the world.
This summer, Dr. Dodsworth will teach courses, participate in social justice trips, and explore the history and culture as a visiting professor with the SHC Italy Center. Dr. Dodsworth decided to pursue a semester abroad after fellow faculty member, Dr. Matthew Bagot, shared an inspirational account of his own experiences in Bologna and Croatia.
“The SHC Italy Center is an amazing program,” says Dr. Dodsworth “The students are really engaged and we are constantly talking about our experiences, sharing our life stories, and reflecting on our faith. These two classes—Philosophy of Religion and Religion and Culture—are some of the best I've ever taught.”
Throughout the semester, Dr. Dodsworth’s students will focus on discussing interreligious dialogue and religious pluralism, the problem of suffering, understanding miracles, as well as examining and analyzing religious and cultural identity. Outside the classroom, students participate in small group travel opportunities, learning about conflict, peace and reconciliation, and human rights.
“We’ve visited Medjugorje, a town located in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” says Dr. Dodsworth. “We've spoken with Muslims and Catholics in Croatia about the Balkans war, getting a variety of perspectives, and of course, we've explored the city of Bologna, one of the oldest college towns in the world.
“I’ve taken my class to a wine bar in Bologna that's been operating continuously for about 549 years. The cuisine is wonderful. The gelato is phenomenal; so are the cappuccinos. However, I confess that I am longing for some regular American coffee!”
Dr. Dodsworth and his class will spend 10 days in the Balkans for the social justice component of the SHC Italy Center summer program. After the visit, the group will return to Bologna to continue their studies, wrapping up the semester on June 28.
Photo (L to R): Dr. Christopher Dodsworth, Todd Waller, SHC Italy Center director, and Todd's friend Fr. John at the 300-year old house of their host family in Imotski, Croatia.