Syllabus —RELIGION 4311 Intercultural Dialogue Abroad—

Dr. Godlas, UGA-Morocco Maymester Abroad.


This service-learning class examines facilitation of and active participation in intercultural dialogue, primarily during supervised discussions with students whose culture is non-American. It emphasizes using the principles of active listening and dialogue for cultivating hermeneutical understanding (of both self and other), while discussing topics of intercultural and interreligious interest.


Class times:  2:30 -4 pm, on school days when we are in Marrakech and not taking group field trips.

Format:  UGA Program students will be split into groups of four or five students with each group being paired with Morocco students at the CLC.

Attendance: Required

Academic credit:  One credit hour


Topic outline

1) The problem of intercultural violence and the need for intercultural and interreligous dialogue through hermeneutical understanding

2) Active listening: being a participant-facilitator & Dialogue, envisioning a better world and better lives, and practical steps

3) Cultural and religious differences vis a vis social life and marriage

4) National, cultural, and religious differences in educational philosophy and systems; job expectations and the role of linguistic expertise

5) Globalized media and religio-cultural stereotyping

6) Social class, crime, and drugs: intercultural comparisons

7) Pres. Obama, American power, and privilege: seen from the U.S. and abroad

8) Envisioning a better world


Objectives—gaining the following:

1) an understanding of the significance and theory of hermeneutical dialogue in contrast to debate

2) knowledge of the skills of how to be an active listener and facilitator of hermeneutical dialogue with students whose cultural background is non-American

3) experience as participants in and facilitators of intercultural dialogue

4) experience in assisting advanced non-native speakers of English through active listening (the service-learning aspect of the course)



1)     The day after each class, hand in a few sentences about the most lively topics or questions that came up in the previous day's intercultural dialogue.

2)     Final 2-4 page paper summarizing your experience in intercultural dialogue, including but not limited to what was and was not productive and suggestions for improvement.