Embracing Religious Identity 

By Nhlanhla Mtyali 

Religion is a spiritual and psychological anchor for a lot of students, and universities expose a lot of students to a plethora of beliefs. These beliefs then form part of their identity and can be used to further promote unity among students through sharing and embracing their different religious conformities. 

Among dealing with the stress and pressure of coping with university life, some students find it easy to cope with their academic lives through participating in religious activities. These activities also act as a device that enables them to socialise with other students and some students go as far as viewing it as therapeutic. That affords students to be better acquainted with each other and in turn, embrace different identities and champion for equality. Nelson Mandela University has been sure to support this notion through its policy on Religion/ Belief/ Opinion put in place to make sure that an individual’s religious beliefs are respected as well as the value of human dignity and freedom within religious communities in the university. 

Having students thrive within a safe and valued diverse community ensures a progressive and supportive student life. That will champion mutual respect between students and staff members, which is pivotal for individual and collective growth in the Madibaz community and ensure continued freedom of expression. Promoting religious practices for those who are already practising them and for those who are willing to start, would be very beneficial in terms of contributing towards working for a common goal of an equal, progressive, and just society both within and outside the university. 

Being reflective of Nelson Mandela University’s vision and mission which is to provide a supportive and affirming environment that enables students and staff to reach their full potential. Embracing religious identities would also pave the way for further promotion of integration with other forms of individuality and shun discrimination. 

Photo credit: Pixabay 

Leave a Comment