By Denton Josey, Features Editor
Focused on reaching the students during Lectureship, the student track offers more student- friendly topics, such as mysticism, at later times in the evening.
Monday night at 8:45 p.m. in the Den Caf‚ of Barret Hall, the Spiritual Spectrum topic is Mysticism in a Modern World, hosted by Randy Harris, instructor of Bible, missions and ministry. Harris said the topic was picked because it appeals to students.
“The director of the lectures wanted to have things that the whole campus would be involved in, especially students,” Harris said. “This is aimed at students, not the guests.”
“I’ve done a number of things related to the topic,” Harris said. He’s spent time at Trappist monastery, a Buddhist retreat, a Celtic retreat house and a hermit community for 40 days of silent prayer.
“We’re in a world where everyone is looking for religious experience,” Harris said. “Monks and hermits are people who seem to know about that – that’s why I’ve gone to check ’em out.”
Harris said he plans to talk for about 30 minutes and then have a question and answer time. “The idea is students are curious about those kinds of things,” Harris said.
Harris said the appeal would be to students who are interested in the whole area of mysticism or meditation or contemplative prayer.
Though he studies mysticism, Harris said his education on the subject includes learning through experience.
“I’ve done a whole lot of reading about it, but you get to a point where you don’t want to read about it,” Harris said. “I’ve really been on a search and kinda decided I would go any place in the world to try and learn from people who know about meditation or contemplative prayer or who were practicing a mystical tradition.”
McKade Marshall, senior business major from Abilene, went on a retreat this summer where he experienced times of meditation and prayer. He said meditation allows time for people to reflect and focus.
“I believe college kids are interested in the spiritual movement,” Marshall said. “It’s just a matter of what kind of spirituality they’re going to meditate on, whether it is good or bad.”