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I listened to readings in the Episcopal church growing up, but my mind was often wandering away from the chapel and I didn't really retain much. In high school I read the gospel of Matthew after my mother got a role in Godspell at the community theatre. It wasn't until college where my school had a mandatory "core" class for three years of world literature, that I was exposed to anything more. My sophomore year we had to read the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita, the old testament story of Job, and a few other religious pieces as historical texts. I found it fascinating, especially since I'd never known more than Christianity and Judaism. I joined a student interfaith group made up of mostly Pagans and Wiccans, who brought more views to the table. It was amazing and enlightening. They were more well versed in religion, if only because they'd questioned where they fit and what they believed and had read up on many religious beliefs; we all were encouraged to learn more and decide for ourselves. I have continued to find the study of religions and beliefs fascinating, and I do think that a basic understanding of faith and religion is important in understanding culture and even language.