April 9, 2018

Revisiting Tamar: Violence against Women and the Church’s Response in the #MeToo Era

The biblical story of Tamar, the daughter of King David, with a few tweaks could be today's latest #MeToo headline - a vulnerable young woman is assaulted by a man in power and told to hush up the crime; as events unfold, the king laments the downfall of her perpetrator without acknowledging her trauma. What are the enduring dynamics of violence against women from the Bible to today, and what is the church's role in intervention and prevention in the #MeToo era?

Pamela Cooper-White is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology & Religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She has advanced degrees in historical musicology, religion, and clinical social work.

Dr. Cooper-White's research interests have centered on feminist/Womanist theology and the prevention of violence against women; countertransference, intersubjectivity, and the use of the self in pastoral care and psychotherapy; the intersection of pastoral theology and postmodern relational psychoanalysis; and the history of early psychoanalysis and religion. She is the author of 5 books, Braided Selves: Collected Essays on Multiplicity, God, and Persons; Many Voices: Pastoral Psychotherapy and Theology in Relational Perspective; Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling; The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church's Response; Schoenberg and the God Idea: The Opera 'Moses und Aron' ; as well as Explorations in Practices of Ministry, co-authored with Michael Cooper-White.

Dr. Cooper-White is an accomplished professional soloist, an ordained Episcopal priest, a certified clinical Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois, and a Board Certified Counselor in the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Dr. Cooper-White's talk will be Monday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. in Harper 3023. Her talk is co-sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies program; the talk is free and open to the public.

March 20, 2018

The Rwandan Genocide: Hopes and Challenges

In 2019, Rwanda will commemorate 25 years after the 1994 Genocide. A generation after the genocide, Rwanda has experienced some levels of healing. Improvements in government, the economy, community, technology, and education have given many people reason to hope.

Marcel Uwineza, S.J., a Jesuit priest from Rwanda, will address the genocide in a public lecture. He is particularly interested in the relationship between the Church and human rights, religion, and international politics. Uwineza has published articles focusing on memory, justice and reconciliation, church, human rights, and human development in the context of post-genocide Rwanda.

Fr. Uwineza's talk will be given on Tuesday, March 20 at 5:30 p.m. in Skutt 105. The lecture is open to the public.

February 15-16, 2018

Religion and Reform

In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the annual Kripke Symposium will address the mutability of religion

Although ostensibly of divine inspiration, religions are not immutable; they have changed in significant ways due to historical, economic, social, and political circumstances and causes. Some changes have been intentional, some have been compelled on the religion and necessary for survival, and others have not even been noticeable except from historical perspective. This symposium will address the many ways in which religion has changed, is changing, and perhaps needs to change, and their particular causes. Proposals addressing the topic from a broad range of disciplines and focusing on diverse religious traditions are encouraged.

The symposium will take place Thursday–Friday, February 15-16, in Harper Center 3023, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The schedule for the symposium will be posted around the beginning of the new year.

The schedule of the symposium, including the titles of the presentations, can be found here.

November 14, 2017

Violence, White Supremacy, and #Charlottesville: Can We Learn Anything from the Ethics of War?

Many people were shocked and saddened by the violence that came out of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11 and 12, 2017. Dr. Laura Alexander’s talk asks what sorts of violence or threats of violence were present, whether the violence was sanctioned (police presence) or unsanctioned (street brawling), and how we might sort out and understand the various uses of violence or threat of violence in a chaotic protest situation. The lecture draws on principled ethical thinking about the use of force in the context of war in order to examine how violence, if present in a protest situation, might be used to promote safety and well-being rather than to intimidate or unjustly harm. In addition to consideration of violence in general, it will engage concerns about the intersection of violence and speech when weapons, shields, and other means of using force are incorporated into protests.

Laura Alexander is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at UNO and holds the Goldstein Family Community Chair in Human Rights. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and left Charlottesville to come to Omaha less than a week before the August 11-12 protests. Dr. Alexander studies ethical thinking about religion and human rights, with a focus on issues of just war, peacemaking, and refugee issues.

Dr. Alexander's talk will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at 3:30 p.m. in Harper Center 3023.

October 5-6, 2017

Religion and Secularlism

This symposium will address the history, sources, and significance of secularism and its relationship to religions and religious traditions.

The symposium will take place Thursday–Friday, October 5-6, in Harper Center 3023, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The symposium is co-sponsored by the John C. Kenefick Faculty Chair in the Humanities.

The schedule of the symposium, including the titles of the presentations, can be found here.