My name is Danielle, or Dani, and I will be beginning my 3rd year as an Environmental Engineering student in the Fall. I guess I’ll just jump right into this then. Religion has always played a very controversial role in my life. My parents came from different religious backgrounds, and from the start my mom was never accepted by my Dad’s family and vice versa. My Dad’s being devout Catholic, and my Mom coming from a Protestant Christian religion known as Swedenborgian (don’t worry, many people haven’t heard of it either). I was baptised “Non-Denominational Christian” which was their form of a compromise that in actuality didn’t satisfy either side, and family members from both sides refused to attend.
I think the conflict disillusioned both my parents from being very religious and other than attending services on Holidays and sporadic Sundays, religion played a very small role in my growing up. Following their divorce it played an even smaller role. It was always hard to convince myself that what tore my extended families apart could play a positive role.
While in London I hope to reconfigure my thinking and see how the extensive religious diversity in an urban community can do good, and even bring people together. I want to be exposed to different beliefs and traditions, and discover those subtle but undeniable similarities among all religions, while still acknowledging their unique identities.