When it comes to religion, the demographics of BA Illustration skew highly towards ‘no religion’ (102 students 70%)
While this is indicative of a more secular society, I can remember two instances of students referencing Buddhism, one of whom identified as not practicing. It is important to note that this is now the norm in the UK and religion has been weaponised in politics as we have seen with islamophobia and anti-semitism.
As an inclusive practitioner, my main concern is to encourage healthy conversation and clear boundaries of respect. As a new practitioner, I must accept my lack of experience and seek advice on how to proceed, and engage in theological debates and critique.
Considering how this will impact my teaching, I will be mindful and remind students of our duty of care to one another in an educational space and their agency to leave if they so wish.
Furthermore, how can I create an environment where students feel they can express their religion, without fear of reproach or judgement? The wise strategy of honest positivity comes into play. Reminded by my conversation with a hospitality colleague, I would direct the individual towards a colleague with lived experience, offering my experience and strategies if appropriate.
Perhaps ending by asking them a question,
“Who is this for?”