January 6, 2011
WOOSTER, Ohio — All great religions hunger for a sacred reality built on compassion and righteousness in both word and deed. The 45th Spring Academy of Religion, a six-week lecture series hosted by The College of Wooster, will address this noble but often elusive pursuit, particularly in the context of the ever-changing religious landscape in the United States, when it presents “Searching for the Sacred.” The sessions, which are free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The first, second, third, and sixth lectures will be held in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.). The fourth and fifth lectures will be held in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.).
Each of the six speakers will discuss an individual journey to discover and respond to this sacred reality, which calls for a commitment to love, kindness, hospitality, and justice, according to Charles Kammer, the James F. Lincoln Professor of Religious Studies at Wooster and coordinator of the Spring Academy. “These stories are often not part of the media-based coverage of religion,” he said. “It is not the popular form of religion in our culture, but through the stories of our presenters, we hope to expand our understanding of the sacred and receive some guidance in our own search.”
The series begins on Thursday, Jan. 20, when Sr. Margaret McKenna, founder and director of New Jerusalem Laura (a treatment and housing center for recovering drug and alcohol addicts in Philadelphia), presents “Finding the Sacred ‘In the Least of These.’"
The second lecture follows on Jan. 27, when Letitia Campbell, a doctoral candidate in the graduate division of the Religion, Ethics, and Society program at Emory University in Atlanta, discusses “Innocents Abroad? Christian Ethics, American Identity, and the Dilemma of the Short-Term Mission Trip.”
The third lecture, scheduled for Feb. 3, features the Rev. Carrie Gerard, executive director of Eastern Area Community Ministries in Louisville, Ky., addressing “When the Sacred Finds You: An Unexpected Journey.”
The series continues on Feb. 10, when Gustav Niebuhr, director of the Carnegie Religion and Media Program at Syracuse University, presents “Religious Diversity Means We've Got to Talk, Not Just Tolerate.”
One week later, Kim Bobo, executive director and founder of Interfaith Workers Justice, discusses “Faith and Labor in 2011.” Then, Prof. Kammer concludes the series on Feb. 24 with “Orthopraxis: By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them.”
Additional information about the Spring Academy of Religion is available by phone (330-263-2473) or e-mail.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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