Traditions and identities are at the crux of any discussion about spirituality and public life because how one expresses their religious identity in the public sphere will be directly informed by which traditions they choose to embrace.
At Baylor, we know our students come from many different religious traditions. We are multicultural and mutlifaithful. We are intercultural and interfaithful, and this is what makes Baylor such a rich experience – those of many faith traditions and cultural experiences all gathered together on one campus.
At Baylor, we embrace our Christian heritage and traditions as we affirm our Baptist identity.
Christianity is obviously rich with a variety of traditions and heritages to pull from when formulating one’s religious identity, and the truth is, Baptists also have a rich heritage from which to draw our identity. Historically, central to Baptist life are the Four Fragile Freedoms that comprise Baptist polity (Shurden 1993):
- Bible Freedom
- Soul Freedom
- Church Freedom
- Religious Freedom
There are also many Baptist heroes who have fought in America and around the world for the disenfranchised and marginalized, stood up for the rights of those being oppressed, and fought for religious freedom. Some include John Smyth, John Clarke, Ann Hasseltine Judson, Lottie Moon, Louise (Lulu) Fleming, Walter Rauschenbusch, Martin Luther King, Jr., Addie Davis, Jimmy Carter, Leena Lavanya, and Olu Menjay.
And so, we embrace our traditions and heritage as we affirm our religious identities in today’s public life, and even as we are followers of the Way of Jesus, we are also proud of our historical Baptist roots.