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The Sultanate of Oman as a Venue for Inter-faith Dialogue and Intercultural Immersion: A Case-Study on Christian Semester Abroad Students living in a Muslim Context
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper is a case-study on a group of American students, who spent a four- month period in Oman on a semester abroad program hosted by Al Amana Cen- tre. This paper examines the changes that have occurred in the students concep- tual thinking, their attitudes towards Muslims, Arabs and Islam and their personal theology, and identifies causes of those changes.

In the first section, I will introduce the interfaith work that Al Amana Centre does, and lay a summary of the history and theory of Christian-Muslim dialogue. I will also explain the concept of Theology of Religion, which is central in examining the students’ own theological views. I will also introduce transformative learning theory that I use as a theoretical framework in this study

In the last section of this paper, I analyze the research material which includes program curriculum, student interviews, student essays and students’ answers to questionnaires and surveys. From this material, I have identified repeating ideas and patterns and compared them to the framework offered by transformational learning theory.

This paper seeks to answer to the question: what kind of effects does the Al Amana semester abroad program, infused with cultural immersion, have on the students in this particular case study. In the conclusion part of this paper, I con- clude that the semester abroad program facilitates opportunities for deep reflec- tion and extrarational experiences that work as a catalyst for transformation.

It is hoped that this study can offer guidelines for other programs that aim at transforming attitudes and believes, and that work with cultural immersion and interfaith dialogue. It should be noted though, that the conclusions and outcomes of this study are tied to the specific context and people who attended the semes- ter abroad program, and should not be taken as universal or context-free.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 192
Keywords [en]
interfaith dialogue, religious dialogue, dialogue, transformative learning, Islam, Christianity, Muslim-Christian dialogue, OMan
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-397721OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-397721DiVA, id: diva2:1372485
External cooperation
Al Amana Centre; Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission
Educational program
Master Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-11-25 Created: 2019-11-24 Last updated: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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