Devin Hormann-Rivard

Interview with Devin Hormann-Rivard, BA Religious Studies

What motivated you to come to the BA Religious Studies program?

I wanted to study something that would provide me with more than credentials or even a skill set. I was looking for something with which to contextualize, and through which I could attain deeper intimacy with my experience, something that would assist me in any line of work.

What do you have to say about contemplative practice as an aspect of this program?

It has been the most important part. I have never intended to study religion as a scientist peering into a glass case and taking notes. Instead I have followed inspirations and intuitions and have used the classroom environment as a way of looking deeper into my individual, internal relationship to practice. I try to be the subject of my experiments while being rigorous. I am not perhaps what you would call an objective scholar. I have faith based on my experiments in practice, but I have faith before criticism, and curiosity is there too.

How has your time in the program been so far?

I have gone through many life changes throughout, and I will not say they have all been a result of this program, but for me the program has been very influential. The teachers have been wonderful and available, the material varied and inspiring, and I have been thankful for having them both as guiding focus.

How do you regard the academics of the program?

Some classes are more demanding than others in terms of straight rigor; however, I have found all teachers have demanded engagement, participation and presence. For some topics, this has been more influential in learning than was the printed material.

How would you describe life in Boulder and the connections to the religious studies community?

Boulder is very expensive. Issues of race and class are as apparent as the sun, which shines here an average of three hundred days per year, so often that it is quickly forgotten and accepted as the way things are by most. I think a lot of religious communities need to come down out of their respective mountains and do more time in the world studying fellow humans as scripture, being with the other like being with the guru, treating social inequality as an aspect of an old temple, which requires upkeep and revision, and not lollygagging about in making such alterations.

What would you say to prospective students?

Be brave.