By AUSTIN FRALEY
In the past few years, Georgetown has seemed to have an identity crisis when it comes to religion. Since the association with the KBC was dropped, Georgetown has been identified as a Christian school, but they seemed different than other schools in that regard. It seems religion is viewed much more in academic terms here. It is for this reason that the Theta Alpha Kappa Honors Society was envisioned.
Though it had been tried in the past, the motivation and dedication finally came from the current set of religion majors, specifically Anna Meurer. Although currently studying at Oxford and unable to attend the induction ceremony, a certificate of initiation was mailed to her.
The ceremony took place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 in the Jones-Hall-Nelson Suite. Eight present students were inducted, as well as many others who were unable to attend the ceremony.
Alpha Lambda Theta, the Georgetown chapter of TAK, is currently headed by president Claire Strnad, vice president Betsie Phillips and secretary Ashleigh Barker. Claire and Betsie both spoke about the impact of religion as well as the religion department here at Georgetown had on their lives. Claire is very interested in culture and its relation to religion, so much so that during her Georgetown career, she spent a considerable amount of time in Egypt. Upon returning, she realized that she now had an opportunity to go anywhere she wanted for school. However, Claire said that she realized the relationships she had made with the very helpful and supportive department faculty were just too valuable to abandon.
Betsie spoke about the impact of religion on her own life. She expressed how, as many students can relate to, the religion classes here were very challenging to her faith at first. She acknowledged that many students, upon learning that not everything they learned in church growing up is entirely accurate, decide that their whole faith is worthless and abandon it. However, she sees the academic study of religion as something that should inspire the faithful to enhance their faith. A relationship with God should be faith seeking understanding.
This is the reason that TAK was instituted. “We are not a Sunday School department,” says faculty adviser Dr. Terry Clark. The purpose of the religion department is to help students question and grow in their faith, but not to indoctrinate them. TAK is an expression of that desire, and the members inducted are students willing to challenge themselves and grow in that faith.