"A singular characteristic of sacred speech is its openness. It is humble. It is less interested in being right than in being linked, less interested in self-protection than in self-expression, less interested in cages and doors than in decks and windows. Sacred speech wants clarity and it wants justice. Sacred speech loves a good, honest boundary. But it also wants to maximize love and minimize fear. Sacred speech understands and acknowledges that, in the world that God has made, we need not fear. We may require many fewer locks, keys, borders, and boundaries than we think we do."
— Donna Schaper in Sacred Speech
Course description: This course builds upon the work of non-violent souls around the world who are more interested in decks and windows than cages and doors. The course includes a component of service learning where students spend time in the local community -- primarily at convenience stores, bars, and political rallies -- sharing sacred speech and its complement, sacred listening. Sacred listening is listening with the ears of the heart, sensitive to the motivations and emotions that are present in their dialogue partners, with a willingness to be touched. It finds as much value in stories as in facts Students are encouraged to reflect upon their experiences with, and attempts at, sacred speech, and to learn from their mistakes. It is premised on the assumption that sacred speech is an art not a science, and that it can be learned even by the most dogmatic of speakers, if given the chance. It begins with the sense that there dwells, within each speaker, a quietness of soul that is inclined to love. Process theologians call it God's lure, but other names will suffice. Sacred Speech 101 is open to believers, non-believers, and the vast majority who are somewhere in between. The only prerequisite is a willing heart.