Tom Hoopes ’83, head of the Religions Department at George School, shared his studies about teaching religion and spirituality at a Friends school and elsewhere, at the historic Newtown Friends Meetinghouse on Sunday, December 10, 2017. His presentation had a special emphasis on the question, “What do I have to learn?”
Tom’s presentation came to life with images from popular culture, meant to be a jumping off point for thought-provoking questions. One such photo was an iconic picture of a sailor and nurse locked in a kiss in Times Square on Victory over Japan Day. He asked those in attendance to truly study the picture, and consider what is happening. He gave historical context to the photo and shared the fuller story behind it, including the perspective of the nurse, which has not been included in the conventional historical interpretation of the picture.
Tom used visuals to touch on an array of subjects, from how thoughts about the world have changed since the last election, to the changing dialog around patriarchy since the MeToo movement. He also touched on environmental issues and student environmental activism.
The presentation was well received, with a request for an additional presentation at Pennswood Village. Marguerite Chandler, a resident of Pennswood Village, wrote to Tom after the presentation saying that it was an outstanding program, she asked if she could share it again with residents. “Clearly your message should be shared widely.”