Bates to hold symposium on education, religion and contemporary issues

In the wake of a series of hateful acts directed toward a number of synagogues and churches in Maine, issues of preparing a new generation for an age of religious pluralism will be explored in a three-day symposium at Bates College Friday, Jan. 22, Jan. 23 and Sunday, Jan. 24, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives.

Education, Religion and Social Values: Issues and Priorities for the 21st Century is sponsored by the Bates College Department of Philosophy and Religion and the Dimmer-Bergstrom Fund as the fourth in a series of Bates College Symposia on Religion and Contemporary Issues.

“We are faced with common questions: how to prepare a new generation for an age in which religious traditions and peoples, once existing in their own worlds of splendid isolation from each other, are being drawn into ever closer relations,” said Mishael Caspi, symposium organizer and visiting professor of religion at Bates. The conference includes a series of discussions with representatives of a wide variety of religious traditions.

The symposium will begin Jan. 22 at 2:30 p.m. with registration and opening remarks, followed by the 4:45 p.m. address, Millennium of Religious Aspiration, given by Gildas Hamel, a lecturer in French at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Hamel specializes in French history, Celtic languages and cultures as well as the social history of early Judaism and Christianity.

The Jan. 23 schedule of presentations includes:

  • 1:30 p.m. – Bishop Joseph Gerry
  • 2:10 p.m. – The Rev. Canon Cox
  • 2:50 p.m. – David Kolb, professor of religion and philosophy at Bates College
  • 4 p.m. – The Rev. Donald J. Rudalevige
  • 4:40 p.m. – Peter Terry
  • 5:20 p.m. – Anton Vrane

The Jan. 24 schedule of presentations includes:

  • 2 p.m. – Rabbi Douglas Weber, Temple Shalom Synagogue Center of Lewiston-Auburn, and associate chaplain, Bates College
  • 2:40 p.m. – Stacy Smith, assistant professor of education, Bates College
  • 3:20 p.m. – Donna Hailson
  • 5:30 p.m. – Howard Lupovitch
  • 6:10 p.m. – Mohammed Falesh

The public is invited to attend, and pre-registration is recommended. A registration fee of $5 will be charged for all conference sessions. Bates College issues a certificate of attendance and course description to participants who complete the program. The symposium is approved for two continuing education credits for recertification as specified by the Maine State Department of Education.

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