A trip to Northern Ireland gives students insight into their own beliefs.

By Jodie Valade A

dam Moore was trying to set the timer on his phone for a selfie with his girlfriend at Belfast City Hall when someone interrupted him.

“Do you want me to take the photo for you?” a man asked. Te man’s name was Mr. Larry, and it didn’t take long for

him to start telling Moore his life story. Te Queens junior listened as Mr. Larry shared how he grew up Catholic in Northern Ireland, lived through Te Troubles and had family members killed in the clashes between Protestants and Catholics. For a long time, Mr. Larry hated Protestants. But years of

peace and reconciliation have softened his once-harsh views, and now he considers himself open-minded whenever meeting anyone of any religion. For Moore, the conversation was, in effect, like seeing his

class, Religion’s Role in Conflict and Peace, come to life. “Just being able to experience that and hear that from a person who actually experienced everything from the beginning—it was amazing,” Moore said. “We’ll always remember having that experience that day.” Te 30-minute conversation was the kind of once-in- a-lifetime interaction that Moore was hoping for when he embarked on this spring break excursion to Northern Ireland with Queens. His class of 11 students taught by Diane Mowrey traveled to Northern Ireland from February 28 through March 8, searching for understanding of the dynamics between the divisions of these two Christian traditions and how one’s faith

can lead to peace and reconciliation. Joey Haynes ’11, Queens’ current chaplain and director of the Davies Center for Faith and Outreach, co-led the trip. “I think we know that experiential learning just enhances

classroom learning,” Mowrey said. “And I think for all of them, they were like, ‘Wow, this is really true, in a really vivid way.’ ” As the Mrs. John R. Irwin Professor of Bible and Chaplain

Emerita at Queens, Mowrey has led class trips to areas around the world during her tenure, but this 2020 trip marked a special milestone. It was a reprise of a trip she organized in 2009, so she was burning to see how the culture and environment had changed in 11 years— and 22 years after peace was declared in the region in 1998. It also marked her final Queens trip, as Mowrey retired at the end of the spring 2020 semester. During Mowrey’s trip in 2009, she

discovered something that she knew intellectually but was still striking to see in person. “It [the trip] made me aware that levels of thinking about religion’s role aren’t just societal or political—which are the two obvious ones that we think about with global situations—but also personal and interpersonal,” she said. Mowrey was eager to see her students experience that

same revelation. 27


Exercise and Sport Science major

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