Welcome to the Interfaith Text Study.
The ITS is a place for for people to approach sacred text in an interfaith setting, but also a place where there is always an established topic and agenda, a dialogue being guided by a forum member about a text they're familiar with using an approach they know and want to share. You are welcome to post a comment to the text from any background, but if it seems like it would divert the general direction of the text study and it's something that you wish to discuss, please consider starting a new thread on a more appropriate section of the forum.
Members leading the text study act as guides to the text only, leading those who choose to take part on a guided tour of their chosen text. They are asked to refrain from trying to moderate the individuals taking part in the text study. If a need for moderation is seen, please contact one of the forum moderators. If you are leading, please do encourage feedback and participation, asking questions from, dialogueing with those taking part to the extent that you desire it. The more interactive you make your text study, the more likely people will wish to take part.
The ITS is not a place to prove or justify one's beliefs, nor is it a place to intentionally put someone in the position to do so. This is a place for sharing and learning about religious texts. If, for example, we're examining a small section of Summa Theologica, the discussion should then be about the ideas being presented by St. Thomas Aquinas in the material before us; our attempts to understand it, our reactions to it, following the general path through the text created by our guide, but not an entirely unanchored discussion about the nature of Divine providence. (Please feel encouraged to start new threads based on anything that strikes you in the ITS on the appropriate board.)
If you are interested in leading a text study, fill out an application and PM it to dauer for approval/arrangement in the text study queue. All applications that meet the minimum requirements will be presented before the entire team of moderators for approval. All approaches to text will be considered, from the most theistic to the most secular.
As an attempt to create an environment more suitable for sharing and dialogue, posting access on this board will be limited to forum members who have been here for at least three months and who have made at least 200 posts. We also ask that you limit posting on this board to the threads that have been approved for discussion.
Lastly, this section of the board invites people to open up about texts that are often very important to them while at the same time inviting others who may not regard the texts in the same way to share in learning about these sometimes very personally significant pieces of material. While it's true everywhere else, it cannot be stressed enough here, please respect the beliefs of the people who open up here. If you really don't like the approach they're bringing to a text, you can always come back for the next text study. This also goes for those who have difficulty with secular or modern approaches to religious texts.
Thanks for taking the time to read over all of the rules, and I hope to see you soon in the ITS.