Fardo Eringaafgestudeerd in 2015 werkzaam als Medewerker educatieve projecten Alfasteunpunt bij Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Close encounters with the lasting influence of religion
I followed the Master's track in Religion and the Public Domain, but the course units on religious heritage from this track have now been included in the track in Religion and Cultural Heritage. The thing I liked most about the course units was how the present and the past are linked together. They focus in a very concrete way on the position of religion in Western Europe.
According to his fans, Michael Jackson’s core message was to ‘Heal the World’ through love. Some fans feel that Michael Jackson can be seen as a new Messiah, sent by God to show people what is really important, namely love. Michael Jackson is placed by his fans within a very broad spiritual context. The followers I spoke to call themselves spiritual, but they are reluctant to commit to a specific religion. What is remarkable is that most of these fans express very Christian ideas. For his followers, Michael Jackson acts as a kind of mediator, clarifying their prior religious allegiance. It is as if Michael Jackson helps them to transition from theory to religious practice. They integrate Michael Jackson into their belief system, where he comes to play a key role as a spiritual guide, offering his fans concrete guidelines for distinguishing between good and evil and giving shape to their lives. His followers believe that Michael Jackson was severely persecuted and that he suffered tremendously as a result. However, this did not stop him from fighting for his ideals and for his fans, which makes him a true martyr in their eyes.
After I graduated, I went straight to work for the University of Groningen Humanities Support Desk, where I help organize educational projects for secondary schools. One of the projects I am working on is De Kerk: maak er wat van!, which we set up together with the Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken [Historical Groningen Churches Foundation] and which focuses on redesignation of church buildings that are no longer used as such. The idea is that pupils draw up policy plans for vacant church buildings. This way we aim to make students aware of the rich heritage that their own environment has, and encourage them to think about how to deal with this heritage.
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