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Agliano models faith in class, on field

By Jace Riley ’16

Photo by Cory Wyman '16 - Mr. Chris Agliano flips through his notes just before school, Apr. 11 2014.

Mr. Chris Agliano knows faith is not something all students blindly accept.

He tries to model an openness to faith for all his students every day.

He went to an all male, Jesuit high school in Tampa, Fla. He also went to Boston College, a Jesuit university, where he studied theology and minored in Jewish studies. He received his graduate degree in religion and Jewish studies from Vanderbilt University.

Mr. Agliano said faith is very important to him.

“It is the belief in something greater than yourself,” Mr. Agliano said. “When I say something…at least in my faith, to the teachings of Jesus.”

He said that scripture is something that can be hard to understand, but faith can help us understand what it might mean.

“It allows us to better contextualize the message and the intention of scripture,” Mr. Agliano said. “As opposed to taking it literally, or getting confused by Jesus’ aphorisms or parables.”

Mr. Agliano teaches Scripture and Theodicy and the Holocaust.

Sophomore Liam Gallagher ’16 had Mr. Agliano for freshman scripture.

“If you have something to believe in you can really get to the core concepts of the scripture,” Gallagher said. “I think Mr. Agliano does a really nice job of making his students feel involved in that sense. It made his class a lot more enjoyable.”

When asked about how he incorporates faith into his classes, Mr. Agliano said he knows that not everyone has a strong faith life.

“I think it’s important to model what it means to have faith,” Mr. Agliano said.

He called these moments where people don’t have faith a “crisis of faith.”

“I’ve been through that crisis, I’ve been through the ideas of what is it I truly believe?” Mr. Agliano said. “I try to bring that perspective to meet them where they are.”

Mr. Agliano tries to bridge his experiences with the students’ to help identify the stories in scripture.

“He knows that a lot of the students may or may not believe in any of the stuff they are reading,” Gallagher said. “A lot of the students can analyze the text they want to and everybody gets a better understanding of it.”

Tucker Brown ’17 had Mr. Agliano as a coach for football and as a teacher, and saw the faith in the classroom and on the field.

“He kinda dedicated himself to us and we prayed before games,” Brown said. “It was a little more of a boost because now we had God on our side.”

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