Religious Studies Fall2010

During fall 2010, students in the class Latino/Latina Religions are documenting the history of St. Mary’s College for Women and Pre-GED school at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Episcopal Cathedral in Dallas, which is experiencing a surge in Latino parishioners. Through work in the archives, interviews with Pre-GED School students and volunteers, and ethnographic work with the parish, the class will produce a history of the church and its programs that will enable the congregation to better understand its multicultural make-up, the historic trends that led to this make-up, and the relationship between the church, its programs and the surrounding community.

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Broader view of history

Jacob.jpg An update from Jacob:

Researching St. Matthew’s Cathedral has been an eye-opening experience for me. As a member of the “context” group, it has been our job to research what has been occurring around St. Matthew’s and the broader scope of Dallas throughout the church’s history.

Initially, I had not given much thought to the history of Dallas at all. I assumed that it was a city that had been a certain way for many years and would continue to remain that way. The research we completed proved my initial assumptions to be completely wrong and showed that the history of St. Matthew’s is a reflection of the broader region in which it is located.

For example, I was very surprised when our research revealed that the portion of Ross Avenue where St. Matthew’s is located was once considered to be the Beverly Hills of Dallas, which explains the small number of white parishoners that belong to St. Matthew’s. As a result, I have a better understanding of Dallas and St. Matthew’s itself.

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