Resident Dr. Tom McFaul Explores the Vast Diversity of Religion
There are few subjects as sensitive and potentially divisive as religion. But residents at Edgemere haven’t let any preconceptions stop them from embracing a world religions series led by one of their own, Dr. Tom McFaul.
“At Edgemere, I’ve discovered many residents are eager to learn more,” said McFaul, a former Methodist minister who’s been teaching world religions and ethics for nearly 50 years. “They’re very open-minded, curious and want to explore. We’re a real senior learning community.”
Every other month, 100-plus residents gather to learn about the history, beliefs and teachings behind one of thousands of religions that make up our world’s rich theological tapestry. So far, residents have studied Eastern and Abrahamic religions. On the horizon, anything from Buddhism and Judaism to Confucianism and Zoroastrianism.
Although he officially “retired” more than 15 years ago, McFaul continues to teach regularly at Southern Methodist University and Collin College in Frisco. His fascination with religion can be traced back to a distinctive aha moment when, as a teenager, he read a book on how different religions understand God. Since then, he’s published eight books and taught at 10 universities and institutions.
Despite his decades of professorship, McFaul says he continues to get the same question from every generation — what religion is best?
“I’m a teacher, not a preacher; I’m not going to tell them what to believe,” he said, adding it’s a question everyone must answer themselves. “Education is the best way to appreciate differences. Knowledge of what others believe is key to understanding, breaking through stereotypes and facilitating personal interaction.”