Shorter College Adds Archaeological Excavation to Study Abroad Opportunities
In May 2009, Shorter College students will have the opportunity to engage history in a physical way thanks to a new partnership with the Kursi Consortium. Shorter will serve as the anchor institution for an archaeological excavation in Kursi, college officials announced today, and two professors will lead a team of students to study abroad in Israel and take part in the excavation.
Dr. Alan Hix, chair of Shorter’s Department of Religion and Philosophy and an associate director of the excavation, will lead the study abroad trip along with Dr. James Scarry, assistant professor of history at Shorter. In addition to the work at the excavation site, students will participate in a wide variety of cultural immersion experiences. Dr. Hix said, “The trip will offer students the opportunity to engage history where it happened and to see the region from biblical, historical and political perspectives.”
Located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Kursi commemorates the site where Jesus healed a man possessed by demons and cast them into a herd of swine; the area also is associated with the site of the miracle of the feeding of the 4,000. “Kursi may prove to be the earliest site for Gentile Christianity in Israel, and Shorter students will have the opportunity to help write that story,” said Dr. Hix.
The Kursi project is the latest partnership to be offered through Shorter College’s Office of International Programs. The college currently offers students the opportunity to study for a semester or year abroad at one of more than 50 university partners on six continents. Four-week trips, like the one to Kursi, are conducted each year in the Americas, Asia and Europe. “The Kursi trip is unique among our summer offerings in that participating in an excavation offers a special kind of connection with the place,” said Dr. Robert Wallace, director of international programs at Shorter. “For people of faith, that connection is particularly special in Israel.”
Individuals who are interested in being part of the excavation may do so by applying through the Jerusalem Institute for Biblical Exploration, which is in charge of the Kursi excavation. For additional information, visit www.shorter.edu/Kursi2009 or contact Dr. Hix at 706-233-7257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.