‘Brooklyn And Its Religions’ Takes Students Into Field

February 10, 2009

Author: Francesca Norsen Tate

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle


A Brooklyn College professor teaching a course about the intersection of religion and politics is doing the unconventional. The point of his course is to take his students out of the classroom.

Many colleges and universities offer interdisciplinary programs on religion and politics. Dr. Ken Estey’s courses stand apart because they focus on experiential field work. As part of his course, “Brooklyn and its Religions,” Dr. Estey takes his students to houses of worship representing different faiths throughout the borough.

Dr. Estey, who holds degrees in philosophy and who earned his Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Union Seminary, has taught numerous religion and political science courses on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Among his notable classes are Introduction to Human Rights; People, Power and Politics; a Writing Intensive on Religion and State; and Community Power and Politics. Dr. Estey is the newly installed director of a program at Brooklyn College that combines politics and religion and their contemporary relevance.

“Brooklyn And Its Religions,” which meets on Fridays for an extended “lab” period, uses a variety of texts, periodicals and other resources for homework and writing assignments. But the central component is making field trips to meet with leaders from various religious backgrounds.