A New View: Lens Of Hindu Culture Brings Students’ Own Into Sharper Focus

March 24, 2010

Author: Krista Graber

Source: Bethel College News


For Paul Lewis, Bethel College professor of psychology, an integral part of his Social Cognition class is having students directly encounter the Hindu Indian culture, which he finds as close as Kansas City and Wichita.

Every other spring since 2002 (he teaches the class in alternate years), Lewis has been taking students to celebrate the Holi – which honors spring, fertility and new beginnings – with the congregation of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Society in Kansas City and to meet with members of the Vedanta Society, an ecumenical group of devotees who worship Shri Rama Krishna.

“As a graduate student,” Lewis says, “I had experience working on some cross-cultural projects featuring comparison and contrast of North American Caucasians with South Asian Hindu Indians.” From this experience, he became aware “of a fair amount of the scholarly cultural psychology literature pertaining to a comparison of these two cultures.”