Because I was not able to attend class this past week, I cannot comment on the discussions that were had. However, after reading others’ postings and the assigned pages for the upcoming class I have learned a few new things. As someone who has grown up in an organized religion it is interesting to read about the other perspectives that you lose when you aren’t able to view something from the outside. Chapter 2 and 3 talk a lot about community and how it plays a role within religion, both in finding meaning or self identity. I know for me having others around me who can relate and understand both my struggles and view points makes it easier to bond. This weekend I attended a small young adults retreat. There was about 70 people all from different Orthodox traditions, but because we had that one thing in common, we were able to come together smoothly. There were people there who haven’t gone to church since they were 14, while others attended regularly, but the foundation was there and they still identified as religious. At one point in a discussion the idea of “community” arose and the speakers put great concern on the importance, if you have a good community around you, you have support. Chapter 2 highlights the idea that religion gives a way to explain happenings in your life- both good and bad, while Chapter 2 states the importance of the community within self identity and helping you attain it. After reading others’ posting from last week the common thread was many people claim they are spiritual, rather than religious, but it makes me wonder, is that because we are in college and the community around us identifies as spiritual, therefore we are drawn to that, or is it true that religion is seeing a substantial decline?