Iliff School of Theology’s Rev. Amanda Henderson introduces new program about religion, politics

religion in U.S. (Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash)

One of the notable professors at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, has recently shared details about the new program under her leadership. The program called 'Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture' officially launched Rev. Amanda Henderson as its program director in 2021. 

'Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture' 

As politics and religion continued to be two debating factors in any society, the Iliff School of Theology proposed a new program to deal with the connection between the two subjects. Through the program called 'Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture,' the university aims to allow students to understand and research how religion is being used to shape today's society. 

Denverite recently interviewed the director of the said program, Reverend Henderson. According to the report, the local pastor is known in Denver as one of the vocal representatives in different protests around the city regarding housing. 

In her interview, Reverend Henderson pointed out how people quickly judge religion because of how it could hurt them when it comes to its different beliefs and stances. According to her, people nowadays do not take religion seriously as a matter of subject. This was despite their study that 90% of people in the U.S. consider themselves as religious, according to the school website. 

Although many things in society are affected by religion, she believed that the subject is more complicated than what people mostly know today. Thus, her program at Illiff School is launched. 

"In religious scholar circles, there's a deep understanding of the ways religion has informed our political structures, but it doesn't often connect to advocates and activists, or political folks. We needed a bridge," Reverend Henderson said in the interview. 

Religion Is Similar to Gender, Race

When asked about the impact of religion on today's society, Reverend Henderson explained that religion is quite similar to gender and race. She said that not everything about religion is bad for the people. 

The reverend noted how all three factors—religion, gender, and race— are all important to construct an idea for a person. She believed that being able to understand the complexity of religion would allow a person to be 'progressive' and understand another person's experience and beliefs. 

Reverend Henderson added that anyone could take their program at Illiff, regardless of whether they are a member of a religious group or not. She said that the important thing for students at the Institute is to "understand that religion is shaping other people and to understand that it's shaping how people see themselves and others and how they understand political questions." 

Iliff President Welcomes Reverend Henderson

In a press release on the school's church website, Iliff President Rev. Dr. Thomas V. Wolfe welcomed Reverend Henderson to her new position. He said that the reverend's past experiences in society, politics, and desire for religion's deep research would contribute hugely to their university. 

According to Denverite, Reverend Henderson was also part of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado until 2020. 

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