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Le Moyne College and Syracuse University Present The Intelligent Conversation Series

<p>SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … Intelligent Conversations: Religion, Culture and Society is a series of four discussions featuring faculty of Syracuse University and Le Moyne College. Each will focus on a different topic to explore the current thinking on matters of concern and potential implications of the struggle to determine the role of religion in society. All four discussions will take place on the campus of Le Moyne College, starting on March 27 and continuing every other Tuesday until April 24. Refreshments will follow each event.<br /> <br /> All events are free, but an RSVP is recommended. To reserve a seat, call 443-4846 or e-mail cmcarlho@uc.syr.edu.<br /> <br /> Dealing with Difference: Religious Views through Personal Shared Experience<br /> Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m. <br /> Panasci Family Chapel <br /> <br /> Imam Ahmed Kobeisy, Muslim chaplain at Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel<br /> The Rev. Thomas V. Wolfe, Ph.D., dean of Hendricks Chapel <br /> <br /> In our growing religiously diverse world, religion plays a major role in separating people, yet it can also be a greater force in bringing people together. Imam Kobeisy and the Rev. Wolfe will have just returned from Turkey where they shared with others the leadership of a program titled “Three Faiths, One Humanity.” Jewish, Christian, and Muslim students spent time preparing and traveling into the interfaith culture of Turkey to explore how these living communities of faith share life and work together. Share a public conversation about the struggles and the joys of living in a religiously diverse world.<br /> <br /> <br /> Religion and Politics <br /> Tuesday, April 10, 7 p.m. <br /> Panasci Family Chapel<br /> <br /> John Freie, professor and chair of the department of political science, Le Moyne College. <br /> Fred Glennon, professor of religious studies, Le Moyne College<br /> <br /> <br /> In the United States, the relationship between religion and politics is mixed. On the one hand, there is a long tradition of separating church from state; on the other hand, there is an equally powerful inclination to mix religion and politics. Today, Americans are split on whether or not churches and other religious organizations should express their views on day-to-day social and political questions. Half (51%) say they should; the other half (46%) want them to keep out of political matters. <br /> <br /> This discussion will weigh in on the relationship between religion and politics in the U.S. by discussing such issues as whether or not the government should fund faith-based initiatives in social services, the role of religion in voting patterns, and the dilemmas and opportunities that face religiously motivated people who want to participate in politics. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Religion and Popular Culture<br /> Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m. <br /> Panasci Family Chapel<br /> <br /> Gustav Niebuhr, professor of religion and media, College of Arts &amp; Sciences and Newhouse School of Public Communication, and director of the Religion &amp; Society Program<br /> Robert J. Thompson, director, Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, and Trustee Professor, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, Syracuse University.<br /> <br /> From Madonna to “The Simpsons,” “The DaVinci Code” to “The Passion of Christ,” religious symbolism and commentary pervade the popular media – music, television, literature and film, not to mention the reaches of cyberspace. Do the media act merely as reflectors of cultural norms and values, or do they serve to shape and spread societal customs and behaviors regarding religion and the role of religion in daily life?<br /> <br /> <br /> Intelligent Design and Evolution <br /> Tuesday, April 24, 7 p.m. <br /> Grewen Auditorium<br /> <br /> Kathleen Nash, associate professor of religious studies, Le Moyne College <br /> Andrew Szebyeni, S.J., professor of biology, Le Moyne College<br /> <br /> Throughout the 20th century in the U.S., Christian fundamentalists have espoused a literal understanding of the creation stories in the book of Genesis and have opposed the teaching of evolution in public schools. More recently, a group of self-described Christian scientists, associated since 1996 with the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (CRSC), have combined creationism and the “argument from design” to produce “intelligent design,” a theory that claims that an intelligent agent is responsible for the origin and evolution of life. Proponents argue that evolution could not possibly have produced the complex biochemical systems found in living cells; they must have been designed by an intelligent agent. However, since nature has been eliminated, that agent must be supernatural. What is intelligent design then? Scientific theory or a theological claim? Good science or bad?</p>
posted on: 3/7/2007