2005–2006

April 24 and May 10, 2006

The Newly Discovered Gospel of Judas: A Revolutionary Find - But Does it Revolutionize Theology?

In early April 2006, the National Geographic Society announced the discovery of a long-lost Gospel of Judas. The discovery has been surrounded by considerable fanfare. Fr. William Harmless, SJ, and Dr. John O’Keefe offered a forum that cut through the media hype and the hoopla and took a good clear look at the text itself, not only the fascinating story of its discovery and reconstruction, but also its Gnostic origins, contents, and context.

Fr. William Harmless, SJ, and Dr. John O’Keefe are specialists in the history and theology of early Christianity. Fr. Harmless is the author of Desert Christians: An Introduction to the Literature of Early Monasticism (Oxford, 2004). Dr. John O’Keefe is the chair of Creighton’s Department of Theology and the author of Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible (Johns Hopkins, 2005).

The forum was Monday, April 24, from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. in the Humanities Center 306, and then later on Wednesday, May 10, from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center room 104.


April 10, 2006

The New Religious Pluralism: Implications for American Democracy

Robert Wuthnow presented a lecture building on his recent book, America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity (2005).

Robert Wuthnow is Andlinger Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University. In addition to his teaching, he has served as director of Princeton’s Program in Science in Human Affairs, was a founding member of the executive committee of the University Center for Human Values, was founder and director of the Center for the Study of American Religion, and since 1999 has served as founding director of the Center for the Study of Religion.

Professor Wuthnow is the author of more than twenty books, including Acts of Compassion, which received a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1991, and Loose Connections:  Joining Together in America’s Fragmented Communities, which received the Distinguished Book Prize from the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Associations in 1998.  His recent books include Growing Up Religious:  Christians and Jews and Their Journeys of Faith, published in 1999,  All In Sync:  How Music and Art Are Revitalizing American Religion, published in 2003; and America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity, published in 2005. He has received numerous grants and scholarly awards, including the Martin Marty Award for Religion and Public Life from the American Academy of Religion, a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on religion and diversity, and the 2003 Graduate Mentoring Award in Social Science from Princeton University.

The lecture was given Monday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center Ballroom.


April 6, 2006

Becoming: Introducing Apache Girls to the World of Spiritual and Cultural Values

Dr. Inés Maria Talamantez presented the annual Women in Religion Lecture.

Dr. Talamantez is an Associate Professor for the Departments of Religious Studies and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She’s also an Affiliate Faculty for the Program in Women’s Studies and Latin American and Iberian Studies and Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University. She is the founder and director of Graduate Studies in Native American Religious Traditions at UCSB.

The lecture was given on Thursday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m. in Skutt Student Center Ballroom East.


April 5, 2006

Religious Pluralism and the Buridan’s Ass Paradox

Jonathan Kvanvig presented the spring Philosophy - Theology Lecture on the philosophical problems of religious pluralism.

Dr. Kvanvig is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Missouri. He has previously held positions at Texas A&M University and the University of Notre Dame. His published work covers a wide range of areas of philosophy including metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, and philosophy of logic. His books include The Possibility of an All-Knowing God (Macmillan, 1986), The Intellectual Virtues and the Life of the Mind (Rowman & Littlefield, 1992), The Problem of Hell (Oxford, 1993), and The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding (Cambridge, 2003). His most recent work, The Knowability Paradox, has just been released by Oxford this February.

The lecture was given Wednesday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. in room G4 of the Hixson-Lied Science Building.


February 13, 2006

The Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Judaism and Christianity

Dr. Adolfo Roitman, curator of the Shrine of the Book, the depository for the Dead Sea Scrolls, lectured on the significance of the scrolls for understanding the origins of Judaism and Christianity.

The lecture was given Monday, February 13, at 3:30 in the Skutt Student Center, room 105.


November 14, 2005

Religion and “Terrorism” in Context

The Kripke Center sponsored a symposium in which nationally recognized scholars addressed how religion has been used to support violence against others, both in the past and in the present. The symposium was held in the Skutt Student Center Ballroom from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It was free and open to the public.

Participants in the Symposium:

Yaakov Ariel (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). “Terror at the Holy of Holies?: Turn of the 21st Century Christians and Jewish Builders of the Temple.”

Raymond Bucko, S.J. (Creighton University). “Peter the Aleut: Sacred Icons and the Iconography of Violence.”

John Calvert (Creighton University). “‘The Striving Shaykh’: Abdullah Azzam and the Revival of Jihad.”

Faisal Devji (New School). “Landscapes of Jihad.”

Eileen Dugan (Creighton University). “Jerusalem in the Crusades: The Sacks of 1099 and 1187.”

Richard Hecht (University of California, Santa Barbara). “Writing Terror:  The Representations and Interpretations of Terrorism in Eduardo Galeano, Cormac McCarthy, and William Vollmann.”

Tracy Leavelle (Creighton University). “Prophecy, Purity, and Progress: Religion and Violence in the Conquest of America.”

Vern Neufeld Redekop (Saint Paul University, Ottawa). “Religious Involvement in Mimetic Structures of Violence: The Case of Rwanda.”

James Tabor (University of North Carolina, Charlotte). “When and Why Violence? The Dynamics of Violence Potential Among Christian Apocalyptic Groups: Waco and other Case Studies.”

James Waller (Whitworth College). “Deliver Us From Evil: Genocide and the Christian World.”


November 7, 2005

Aquinas’ Aristotelian Image of God

Dr. John O'Callaghan discussed the Image of God in Aquinas for the Fall Philosophy-Theology Lecture.

John O’Callaghan received his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in 1996. In 1998 he joined the faculty of Creighton University as an assistant professor. After three wonderful years, he left and joined the faculty of the University of Portland as an associate professor. In 2003 he returned to his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, as an associate professor and the associate director of the Jacques Maritain Center. Among some of his articles are “Aquinas’ Rejection of Mind, Contra Kenny,”  “Creation, Human Dignity, and the Virtues of Acknowledged Dependence.”  He is also the editor of the volume Recovering Nature, as well as the author of Thomist Realism and the Linguistic Turn.

The lecture was given on Monday, November 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Hixson Lied Science Building, Room G4.


November 4, 2005

When Taking Medication is a Sin: Religious Traditions and the Presence of Animal Products in Medications

Based in part on research funded by the Krikpe Center, several health care scholars and religious speakers gathered for a symposium addressing the problematic role of animal products in medications.

The symposium was held on Friday, November 4, from 8:30 to Noon in the Boys Town National Research Hospital Auditorium. The symposium was free and open to the public. The brochure for the symposium is linked here.


October 30, 2005

Community Conversation on Jewish-Catholic Relations in Omaha

A panel of Jewish and Catholic clergy and lay leaders examined the evolution of Jewish-Catholic relations since the Second Vatican Council and discussed the current state of Jewish-Catholic relations in Omaha.

The discussion was held on Sunday, October 30, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Cathedral Cultural Center (3900 Webster St., behind St. Cecilia's Cathedral). The event was co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and the Archdiocese of Omaha.


October 27, 2005

Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Classes

The Critical Issues Fora discussed the current controversy of whether intelligent design should be taught as an alternative to evolution in science classes. The forum was moderated by Julia Fleming, who was joined by:

Charles Austerberry (Biology Department)
Gene Selk (Philosophy Department)
Ronald Simkins (Theology Department

The forum was held Thursday, October 27, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in room G4 of the Hixson Lied Science Building.


October 11, 2005

Memory and Imagination in Ignatian Spirituality

David Fleming, S.J., a nationally known writer and speaker, spoke for the Catholic Imagination Project on Tuesday, October 11, in St. John’s Church. A pre-talk reception was held in lower St. John’s Church from 4:15-5:00 p.m. This event was co-sponsored by the Collaborative Ministry Office.


October 10, 2005

Fighting Words: The Role of Religion in Violence

Dr. Hector Avalos lectured on the topic of his new controversial book, Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence (Prometheus, 2005).

Dr. Avalos is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University, where he was named Professor of the Year in 1996 and a 2003-04 Master Teacher. He also is the founder and Director of the U.S. Latino Studies Program at ISU, and the Executive Director of the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion, a part of the Council for Secular Humanism based in Amherst, New York.

Dr. Avalos earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He is the author of five books and numerous scholarly articles on ancient health care, biblical studies, and Latina/o studies.

The lecture was given Monday, October 10 at 3:30 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center, room 105.


September 28, 2005

Violence in India: Religion as Cause and Remedy

Fr. Cedric Prakash, S.J. addressed the role of religion in the recent violence between Muslims and Hindus in the Gujarat province of India.

Fr. Prakash is a jesuit priest based in Gujarat, India. He is the official spokesperson of the Gujarat United Christian Forum for Human Rights, an ecumenical body that includes the Catholics and most Protestant groups in the state. He has been involved in providing relief to the victims of the recent anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat and in exposing and protesting against the role of the state and Hindutva groups in the violence. Earlier, he played a major role in galvanizing public opinion about the persecution of Christians in the state. He was also active in Delhi assisting the victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. He is the recipient of India's highest Human Rights award, The Kabir Puraskar - an award by the President of India in 1995 - for the promotion of Communal Peace and Harmony.

Fr. Prakash is the director of "Prashant," a center for human rights, justice and peace, and is also the coordinator of the Province Office for Integral Social Development, an organization dedicated to coordinating developmental, justice and peace works of the Society of Jesus in Gujarat, India

The lecture was held on Wednesday, September 28, at 3:30 in the Skutt Student Center, room 105.


September 29, 2005

The Vocation of Peacemaking in a World of Violence

Fr. Prakash joined by Dr. James Alison for a panel discussion addressing the role of religion in a violent world.

The panel discussion was held on Thursday, September 29, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center Ballroom. This event was co-sponsored by Cardoner at Creighton.


September 18-19, 2005

Love - Ideal and Real - in the Jewish Tradition from the Hebrew Bible to Modern Times

The Eighteenth Annual Klutznick-Harris Symposium explored love in the Jewish tradition. The two day symposium, drawing speakers from around the United States and Israel was held at the Jewish Community Center on Sunday, September 18. On Monday, September 19, the sessions were held at Creighton University in the Student Center Ballroom.

For further information, see the website of the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization.

The proceedings of the symposium will be published in the Studies in Jewish Civilization series.