John Renard got his first full-time paid employment teaching religions of the world (which he learned on the fly) to De Smet High juniors and seniors. While the mention of Hinduism or Buddhism or the major Chinese and Japanese indigenous traditions never seemed to raise any hackles 50 years ago, the merest hint of Islam all too often unleashed a cascade of negative opinions. That was the fire needed to start Renard on a personal quest to find out how the world’s fastest growing religious tradition generated such animosity. He took an intensive summer course at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem after realizing that he was not making much progress teaching himself Arabic.
A Ph.D. in Islamic studies from Harvard’s Near Eastern Language and Civs program landed Renard at St. Louis University for the next 43 years.
Renard says, “Oasis seemed just the right fit for me because adults are encouraged to stay active. I look forward to sharing material I’ve loved for over half a century with people who will attend classes because they want to be there but without papers, tests and grades.”
Join John Renard for Oasis classes fall
Islamic Art and Architecture – Class #110
Wednesdays, November 3 – December 1
Location: Zoom & Clayton Oasis
Fee: $48.00 (4 Sessions)