The Kite Runner stirs dialogue on the common threads of humanity
In September, George Pickens, associate professor of cross-cultural ministries, presented a lecture to first-year students and the broader community on the new common reading, The Kite Runner. His presentation on Khaled Hosseini’s first book focused on openness towards those whose experiences and faiths are foreign to us: “We can enrich our witness by learning to build conversations with people who have different understandings of faith or even different faiths than you and me.” Pickens also challenged students “to see the fingerprints of the creator, the image of God, in someone who is not like them.”
Messiah College common reading texts are intended to introduce students to the rigorous intellectual expectations of the College, nurture conversation about Christian vocation and love of God and neighbor, as well as prompt consideration of Christian beliefs in relation to issues such as gender, race/ethnicity, war and peace, and individual and community life.
Professors of the first-year seminar class “Borderlands,” Jean Corey, assistant professor of English, and Hierald Kane-Osorto, coordinator of Multicultural Programs, desire to emphasize how the book illuminates the borders erected by perceived differences between communities and what happens to the characters when those borders are crossed. Corey and Kane-Osorto’s hope for the class “is that students will become more comfortable with engaging difference and think more generatively about what it means to be a border-crosser, people willing to think critically about our own identity and cross those boundaries— physical, psychological, environmental—that limit our ways of responding faithfully to God’s call to love our neighbor.”
—Mackenzie Martin ’08