This originally appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of Portraits magazine
Last summer, two Saint Anselm faculty members joined forces in the land of the Incas to offer courses in theology and sociology. Sara Smits taught “Culture and Change in a Globalized World” and Ahida Pilarski taught “The Biblical Concept of Peace” for two weeks in Peru.
The most rewarding learning was perhaps the realization that we all have a common responsibility, as local and global citizens, to construct a better future for humanity.
—Ahida Pilarski, assistant professor
It was a gradual process of changing their ideas of how the world works. You saw it every day, when a student said the words “I can’t believe…” They were able to make the connection and see how they have a lot to offer as global citizens who can help their communities and do something for humanity.
—Sara Smits, assistant professor
Smits focused on the concepts of culture, stratification, and globalization from a sociological perspective. Pilarski, a native of Peru, introduced students to the historical and cultural contexts out of which discourses of peace emerged in the past and continue to be constructed today. Discussions of human rights violations, poverty, religion, and political movements fall into both academic disciplines. Both courses featured presentations by local Peruvians and visits to sites such as Machu Picchu.