Panel to explore religious perspectives on marriage equality

A panel of religion scholars and clergy will examine the topic of marriage equality for same-sex couples in a discussion at Bates at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave.

Sponsored by the Multifaith Chaplaincy and the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion, the event is open to the public at no cost. Audience questions will be welcome. For more information, please call 207-786-8272.

Kirk Read, professor of French and francophone studies at Bates, will moderate the panel. The panelists are:

Angela Bauer-Levesque, academic dean and Harvey H. Guthrie, Jr. Professor of Bible, Culture, and Interpretation at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.;

the Rev. Patrick Cheng, professor of historical and systematic theology at Episcopal Divinity School;

the Rev. Raymond Clothier, a United Church of Christ pastor, college chaplain and social worker living in Lewiston;

and the Rev. Joseph Daniels, a Roman Catholic priest and the pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, Waterville.

In her teaching and writing, Bauer-Levesque has emphasized various aspects of social location (gender, race, sexual identity) and their impact on biblical interpretation. Her publications include The Indispensable Guide to the Old Testament (Pilgrim Press, 2009); Seeing God in Diversity: Exodus and Acts, coauthored with Episcopal Divinity School alumna Elizabeth Magill (Morehouse Publishing, 2006); and Gender in the Book of Jeremiah: A Feminist-Literary Reading (Peter Lang Publishing, 2003), as well as various essays in anthologies.

A writer and editor for the website Out in Scripture, Bauer-Levesque has served as a co-chair of the Feminist Hermeneutics and the Bible section of the Society of Biblical Literature for the past six years.

Cheng was appointed to the faculty of Episcopal Divinity in 2010. His research interests relate to the intersections of sexuality, race, ethics and theology. He is the author of Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology (Seabury, 2011), which has been used by seminaries and congregations around the world. His most recent book is From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ (Seabury, 2012).

Cheng is an ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Churches, and he blogs for the Religion and Gay Voices sections of the Huffington Post.

Clothier has particular experience with spiritual direction and guiding people as they discern vocation. For the last 11 years, he helped students explore connections between work and meaning through the Faith and Work Initiative at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. He has served as a college chaplain at Millsaps and at Nazareth College of Rochester.

He has also been an HIV social worker for the University of Mississippi Medical Center and an outreach worker to the homeless mentally ill in Nashville.

Daniels was ordained a priest in 1990 and served the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland in various parishes, colleges and hospitals thereafter. He teaches in the formation program for the Permanent Diaconate as a facilitator with Loyola University New Orleans and frequently addresses issues pertaining to bioethics and end-of-life care.

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