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2013-2014 Programs


Constitution Day Debate


The Evolving Meaning of Equal Rights: A Review of Recent Supreme Court Cases
Dr. Timothy O’Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College, and Dr. Paul Rasor, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock Jr. Director of the Center

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 
3:00 – 4:30 p.m., Pearce Hospitality Suite


One Love/UN Peace Day Festival

An afternoon and evening of music and the spoken word, demonstrating unity in diversity, fostering a closer interfaith community, and celebrating United Nations Peace Day. See event web site for more details:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

1:00 – 5:00 p.m., Drum Circle, The Grille
2:30 – 5:00 p.m., UN Peace Day Celebration, Boyd Dining Center
3:30 – 5:30 p.m., Pax Christi, Monumental Chapel
7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Boyd Dining Center

more information


When Did You Become a Person?


The Fall 2013 Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture
Dr. Howard W. Jones Jr., Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Eastern Virginia Medical School

Program Date:
Thursday, September 26, 2013
12:00 – 12:50 p.m., Pearce Hospitality Suite
more information


The Global Decline of Religious Freedom

Tim_ORourkeThe Fall 2013 Cookson Religious Freedom Lecture
Dr. Brian J. Grim, Senior Researcher and Director of Cross-National Data at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

Program Date:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
7:30 – 9:00 p.m., Monumental Chapel
more information


2013-2014 Nexus Interfaith Dialogue Series: How Our Faiths See Marriage and Family

The increasing diversity of committed relationships among adults, both with and without children, have challenged our traditional understandings of terms like “marriage,” “family,” “parenthood,” and even “personhood.”  Examples include:

  • rise in interfaith and interracial marriages
  • increasing public acceptance of same-sex marriage
  • increased numbers of non-traditional living arrangements
  • new options for childbearing and childrearing

These developments raise important and difficult questions for religion:

  • What does “marriage” mean? 
  • Who defines “family”?
  • What are the implications for children?
  • What are the appropriate roles of religion and the state?

The 2013-2014 Nexus Interfaith Dialogue Series examines these and related questions from a range of diverse and often conflicting faith perspectives.

Program Dates and Panels:

Monday, October 7, 2013
Interfaith marriage
Panelists: K.Lynne Loving (Baha’i), Nathan Oman (Mormon), Dr. Dilip Sarkar (Hindu)

Monday, November 4, 2013
Same-sex marriage
Panelists: Rev. Pamela Bro, Living Waters Sanctuary, Virginia Beach; Fr. James Parke, retired pastor, Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach; Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Congregation Beth El, Norfolk.

Monday, February 17, 2014
Reproductive technologies and personhood
Panelists: Rabbi Michael Panitz (Jewish), Bill Aiken (SGI Buddhist), Rev. Fred McCall (Protestant)

Monday, March 10, 2014
Polygamy, domestic partnerships, and other non-traditional relationships
Panelists: Dr. Rajeshwari Kalojai (Hindu), Hap Cluff (Mormon), Imam Vernon Fareed (Muslim)

Spring: Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Decides? Religion, Ethics, and Health Care

Termination or refusal of medical treatment

Assisted reproductive technologies

Genetic manipulation

Cloning and stem cell research

Doctor-assisted death

The role of religious belief in medical decisions

What if children are involved? 

These and other related topics raise important and difficult questions for religion, ethics and public policy.  They are among the issues that will be addressed by the Center’s Spring 2014 Symposium.

Program Dates and Speakers:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rescheduled for Thursday March 6

Lawrence D. Hultgren, Ph.DEthics Matters in Health Care
Lawrence D. Hultgren, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Director of the PORTfolio Program, Virginia Wesleyan College

Thursday, February 6, 2014 
Tanya Arney, M.A., Ph.D.The Ethics of Death and Dying
Members of Virginia Wesleyan College's Ethics Bowl team

Thursday, February 13, 2014
Tanya Arney, M.A., Ph.D.Biotechnology and Human Experience: A New Atlantis
Tanya Arney, M.A., Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Sociology, Virginia Wesleyan College, and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Tidewater Community College

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Lawrence D. Hultgren, Ph.DFrom Biomedical Ethics to Global Ethics
Henk ten Have, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University and former Director of the UNESCO Division of Ethics of Science and Technology

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Lawrence D. Hultgren, Ph.DThe "Embryo Wars" and other Legal and Ethical Challenges Raised by Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Susan L. Crockin, J.D. , Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and Adjunct Professor of Ob/Gyn at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and principal of the Crockin Law & Policy Group, a legal consulting firm focused on the unique legal issues raised by these technologies 

For more information, see Symposium Brochure.

Programs are free and open to the public. No reservations required. For more information, call 757.455.3129 or email
All programs are presented at Virginia Wesleyan College, Monumental Chapel, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.



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