Georgia has always been a land of multiple faiths: Judaism, Islam, Christian Orthodoxy, and Paganism have a long and unique history of coexistence. In the three-week course, we’ll begin in Tbilisi at the Georgian-American University where you’ll hear lectures on the role of religious traditions in the history and current life of Georgia, followed by thematic lectures on religious and secular traditions in Georgia. Topics will include: Church music, spiritual art, church and temple architecture, the unique history of Georgian Jews, Islam in Georgia, the persistence of paganistic practices, and the era of Soviet Official Atheism.
We will learn to reflect upon and better understand religious traditions, issues, questions, and values in Georgia, thereby enhancing and expanding our understanding of how religion and spirituality shape our own lives.
Lectures will be enhanced and extended through outside nonfiction and fiction readings, daily discussion sessions, and frequent visits to museums, galleries, and local sites. In the classroom, you’ll learn the history and the contemporary context; in the field, you’ll come to understand how religion and spirituality are interwoven into the landscape of Georgia.
Summer: $4,495* May 28 – June 17, 2017 (Apply by March 30, 2017)
Program Add-ons: Russian language study extension in Batumi, Georgia or Kiev, Ukraine: $395 per week Security and Society Summer School, Course block 2 (June 18 - July 7) - $2,995
Frequently asked questions about our programs
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- Educational Travel -
During the last two weeks of the trip, the group will travel the length and breadth of Georgia, an alpine country about the size of West Virginia or Ireland. You'll see Tblisi as well as rural villages and everything from medieval monasteries to gorgeous beaches. There are so many sights to see, but we’ll focus on the spiritual sites that are central to the religious history of Georgia (without missing the scrumptious culinary traditions and the stunning natural beauty of this countryside!).
-Scholarships and Funding -
Students may apply for a $500 GEORGIA ACCESS GRANTfor the Coexistence and Religion program. Grant participants will be expected to contribute weekly (a total of 3) write-ups of specific program experiences and one program summary video with footage taken while abroad. Write-ups will be about one page long and can include synopsis of lectures or excursions. The summary video review will cover generally what the scholarship participant experienced and learned on this program and how they plan to use this knowledge and experience in the future. The grant is awarded after all conditions are met.
To apply, send in a 30-second video of yourself saying why you want to study with the Coexistence and Religion program. Submit this plus two writing samples (e.g. papers written for college-level classes, preferably on religion, sociology, or concerning any topic on any country within Eurasia) when applying for this program (under the materials section).
For more on funding for all SRAS programs, click here. Of special interest may be: Explorer Grants ($1500-3500); Group incentive (5%) for groups of 3 or more students applying together; and grants for those who have served active military duty or who receive Boren, FLAS, or Gilman scholarships.
- Housing and Hosting -
Students will be housed with Georgian families and in guest houses while on this program. Approximately half of all meals will be provided.
Dr. Michael A. Denner is Professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at Stetson University. He's also the editor of the Tolstoy Studies Journal and the director of Stetson's University Honors Program. Like most people who have visited Georgia, Denner decided it was the coolest place on earth. He doesn't pretend to have a lot of expertise on Georgia (ask him questions about Tolstoy or Imperial Russia!), but he does field research in Georgia on the topic of climate change and viniculture and viticulture. He's also translating the best cookbook on Georgian cuisine: Lobio, Satsivi, Khachapuri: Georgia with Taste.
Pictures from SRAS Trips to Georgia!
*Costs: Program costs include tuition for study as outlined, pre-departure materials, local orientation, accommodations in home stay or guest houses, health and accident insurance, round-trip airport transfers, in-country travel while on program, approximately 50% of meals, and in-country support.
*Academic Credit: Stetson University acts as the School of Record for “Georgia: Coexistence and Religion” and will issue an official transcript reflecting academic work through this program. Students will receive one academic unit (equivalent to four semester credits) for the course REES: The Religions and Cultures of the Caucasus. As an accredited institution, this academic credit is easily transferrable to any other accredited institution in the United States.