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Center for the Study of Religious Freedom

A resource for education, respectful dialogue, and mutual understanding for people of all faith traditions - or none

Upcoming Events

Constitution Day Debate

WHY HOBBY LOBBY MATTERS: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, CONTRACEPTION, CORPORATIONS, AND THE CONSTITUTION

Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Jane P. Batten Student Center, Pearce Hospitality Suite

Join VWC faculty, staff and students for a debate on this hot topic one week before the scheduled opening of Hampton Roads’ first Hobby Lobby store and on the heels of the recent Supreme Court decision.
Featuring:

  • Dr. Eric Mazur, Furman Professor of Judaic Studies and CSRF Fellow for Religion, Law, and Politics;
  • Dr. Taryn Myers, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Coordinator for the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies;
  • Dr. Timothy O’Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College

ONE LOVE FESTIVAL 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 1:00 – 9:30 PM
Virginia Wesleyan Campus

  • Drum Circle, 1:00 – 5:00 PM, Jane P. Batten Student Center
  • Making Peace Amid War: Voices From Iraq & Afghanistan with Kathy Kelly, Founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence,1:00 – 4:00 PM, Monumental Chapel. Presented by Pax Christi.
  • Evening Concert to include youth performances, Gen Y Not Band, Tim Seibles, and Narissa Bond, 7:00 – 9:30 PM, Boyd Dining Center

THE MIDDLE EAST AFTER THE ARAB SPRING

Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Jane P. Batten Student Center

Dr. Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies, George Washington University.

Presented by the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

CHRISTIANITY IN CRISIS?: A DISCUSSION OF THE GREAT AND HOLY WAR

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Blocker Auditorium

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, join Dr. Sara Sewell, Batten Associate Professor of History, and Dr. Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director, Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, and Professor and Coordinator, Department of Religious Studies, in a discussion of a recent publication by Philip Jenkins, "The Great and Holy War: How World War One Became a Religious Crusade." Sponsored by the VWC History Department in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom.

ILLEGAL LOVE: TIM BOSTIC ON POLITICS, RELIGION, AND MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Blocker Auditorium

Tim Bostic, one of the plaintiffs in the case against the state of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, will share how he came to be a part of the lawsuit and what it has meant to him. The event will also include a Q&A session. This presentation is co-sponsored by the VWC History Department, the Women's Center, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and the Office of Student Activities.

CSRF OPEN HOUSE & SOUP

Friday, October 31, 2014, noon – 2:00 PM
The Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, Clarke Hall

On this 497 year anniversary of Reformation Day, the CSRF invites the campus and community to visit the office to welcome new staff, enjoy goulash stew, and have lively conversation about Martin Luther’s 95 Theses - or whatever else is on your mind. This is the first of monthly CSRF Soup on Friday celebrations.  Soup days are opportunities for faculty, staff, students and members of the broader community to come together for warm food and fellowship.

NICA ESPERANZA

A short film by John Davis '15
Tuesday, November 11 | Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Jane P. Batten Student Center, Pearce Hospitality Suite

"Nica Esperanza" is a documentary about the Nicaraguan organization House of Hope, dedicated to the rehabilitation and vocational training of women who have been victims of sexual exploitation. Filmmaker John Davis showcases the Tuesday Morning program, a worship and work program that combines teaching the word of God and jewelry making. The program gives the women hope and offers them an opportunity to forge a better life for themselves and their children. VWC Chaplain Greg West and Assistant Professor of Sociology Alison Marganski will provide background and context. Filmmaker and senior communication major John Davis will introduce the film. Following the viewing, Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson will moderate discussion. The screening event is presented by the Women's Forum and the CSRF.

YOUR HEAD ON A PLATTER:

Christian Persecution from the 1st through the 21st Century

Sunday, November 16 | 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Monumental Chapel

VWC Chaplain Greg West and Brock Director of the CSRF Craig Wansink will lead the SOAR Worship with a message about the increasing violence and persecution of Christians in the Middle East. With Islamist extremism on the rise, we may be on the verge of the first genocide of the 21st century. What can Christians in America do to help persecuted Christians around the globe?

Thursday, November 20 I 11 a.m. to Noon
Clarke Hall, Room 118

Dr. Craig Wansink and Rev. Greg West will provide a broad overview of the impacts of religious persecution among diverse faiths, provide historical context for the persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria, and lead discussion on the current rise of violence against Christians in the Arab World.

ETHICS AND ENVIRONMENTAL DISCOURSE:

What the Media Doesn't Tell You About Cancer and Why
Tuesday, November 18 | 9:30-10:40 a.m.
Boyd Dining Center, Shafer Room
Kristine Mattis, an independent scholar, writer, and environmental advocate, will discuss the links between our environment and cancer, and highlight why the media has not been responsive. Our environments play a large role in cancer causation and prevention, but decisions by scientists, physicians, journalists, policymakers, and society as a whole shape our discourse on cancer - not necessarily to the benefit of the people or the environment.

THE CATHARINE COOKSON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LECTURE

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Blocker Auditorium

 

Principles such as religious freedom are not self-defining.
They carry only the meaning we give them.
-Dr. Paul Rasor, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock Jr.
Director of the Center

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