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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Religion panel to tackle cultural differences

Panelists speaking on Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Agnosticism and Islam will have the chance to share their backgrounds and discuss their perspectives on faith Wednesday.
Gents of Texas A&M, an all-male leadership organization, will host its annual Religion Panel, featuring a few new panelists, including a new Buddhist and Baptist panelist.
Ansel Berber-Thayer, Gents vice president and ocean engineering senior, said the panel’s goal is to make people aware of the reasoning behind other cultures.
“The idea of Religion Panel was born out of the realization that there are vast amounts of characters and cultures out there that we could come across some point in our lives,” Berber-Thayer said. “And it would be greatly beneficial to have some idea of them, like those who live their lives based on a doctrine. It really is just an opportunity to expose ourselves to people from different cultures in order to gain respect and understanding of their lives as a whole.”
Berber-Thayer said he is interested in seeing how the panelists discuss the effect religion has on society.
“To me, that’s one very major role that religions have made in the past,” Berber-Thayer said. “It’ll be a good chance for people to realize the positive contributions that a lot of these groups make.”
Rabbi Rosenberg, campus rabbi and executive director of Hillel who is participating in the panel for the second time, said he’s looking forward to the insightful and meaningful questions that will be posed, as well as the curious Aggies in attendance.
As the Jewish panelist for the event, Rosenberg said he’s attempting to reach out to the general student body who might not have a general knowledge of Judaism.
Berber-Thayer said the most interesting question from last year came from an audience member who asked about the role of women in the different cultures.
“Our panelists [are] comprised of men so it leaves out a perspective that’s valuable, that’s the female perspective,” Thayer said. “And if you look at the historical aspects of many religions, women’s role has been less discussed. That was a really neat question, and it was interesting to watch the panelists discuss their religious view towards them, and identify without changing dynamics. It’s definitely a relevant issue.”
As far as the structure of the panel goes, Colin Tycom, management information systems senior said Gents is trying to add more time for people to talk and add more audience participation.
The Religion Panel will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the MSC Bethancourt Ballroom.

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