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Several years ago a group of professors at BYU–Idaho designed an interdisciplinary course entitled “Global Hotspot: Pakistan at the Crossroad of Conflict.”

Students are asked to learn and analyze issues relating to Pakistan’s history, geography, culture, languages, and religions. However, the real purpose of this course is to use Pakistan as a giant case study to help students develop skills and abilities they can use in understanding people and countries that are quite different.

Those skills include—

  • Recognizing and overcoming stereotypes in their own thinking;
  • Understanding how factors such as history, geography, and religion influence countries and individuals;
  • Identifying and appreciating strengths and weaknesses in other cultures and nations, and
  • Understanding how the nations of the world are connected.

Professor Eaton notes that we all sometimes engage in sloppy analytical thinking by casually accepting stereotypes or the assumptions of others, and we should challenge these notions.

He also thinks that respecting others while holding firm to unique beliefs is a somewhat lost art but a necessary balancing act for members of the LDS Church to engage in. We can respect other believers of God without sacrificing our beliefs.

Join Laura Harris Hales of the LDS Perspectives Podcast as she interviews Rob Eaton about understanding Pakistan and our place in the world.

To see the LDS Perspectives Podcast page for this episode, click here.