While it may not first seem so, educational excursions and religious studies go together. It may be easier to conceive of history, geography and modern language trips, but religious studies can be undertaken on school trips as well – in consideration of piety and religious texts. But regardless of the spiritual discipline, school or devotion, there is much to be learned by travelling for the sake of this subject.
This is because religion is both a product of and an influence on many destinations. The trips to uncover this influence require the right leaders to make sure students have their eyes open to the connection between their classes and the locations. They also require the right organisers. Specialised school tour operators can help in this regard.
Engage with the Vatican
One location that should be on the wish list of every student of religion is the Vatican. The hub of Roman Catholicism and holding many of the artefacts of Christianity, its art, architecture and religious practices are a sensory feast for even the casual visitor. The benefit of travelling here with expert school tour operators lies in their ability to guide students into the rich tapestry of religious context that frames this iconic place. It will help students better assess the history of Catholicism, while also aiding the piety of those students who adhere to the religion.
Value the Orthodox history
The story of Orthodox Christianity takes shape from Turkey to Russia even as its roots stretch back to the rise of the Early Christian church in Palestine. Excursions to Russia are ideal for students to get their minds around the intricacies and devotion of this church. Simply reading about and exploring the rituals of Orthodoxy does not compare to visiting the churches and icons that lie at the heart of its practice. Students who do so, whether they are Orthodox devotees or not, will better grasp the tactile and visual nature of this historic faith.
Appreciate the Turkish religious mix
Few places on Earth can boast such a mix of major world religions and their influential history as Turkey. The nation holds within its past the stories of Christianity, Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam. The rise of the Byzantine Empire saw this land first take precedence internationally as a religious capital. The benefit of religious studies trips led by knowledgeable school tour operators lies in the capacity for students to witness first hand (and with sensory impact) the blending of several religious traditions.
Understand the heritage of Krakow
Krakow may not spring to mind as a centre of religious zeal. But, as the birthplace of a Pope and the site of religious and ethnic atrocities, the Polish town is an ideal place to explore the cultural, political and social impact of religion. The school tour operators who organise tours here must measure tact with honesty in guiding students through the horrors committed against Jewish people in the concentration camps, while opening eyes to the powerful strain of Catholic devotion that runs throughout the country.