Students present papers at religion and philosophy conference

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Brandon Harrington ’16, Sarah Kalny ’14 and Anneka Vanderveen ’14 recently presented papers at the North American Undergraduate Conference in Religion and Philosophy.

Harrington’s paper, “Jurgensmeyer and the Weathermen: Terrorism in Retrospect and Lessons for the Present,” won second prize at the conference. Using a secular-theological application of Mark Jurgensmeyer’s framework for religious violence, his paper compared the 1970s American revolutionary group The Weather Underground with contemporary terrorism to suggest operative alternatives to present dogmas.

Kalny’s paper, “Thoughts on Death of God Theology and Jeffery Robbins’ ‘Radical Democracy and Political Theology,'” discussed how we might understand how the death of God and theology have influenced politics today and how they can be applied to life and in decision making.

Vanderveen’s paper, “Robbins Hood: Creating an Egalitarian Society,” suggested that the creation of a utopia is the only way to repair the broken political and economic systems that are plaguing America.

Adjunct professor Jordan Miller accompanied the students and chaired their panel, which was titled “Politics and Theology Without God: Toward Secular-Theological Applicability.” A doctoral candidate at Salve Regina, Miller also serves as the faculty adviser to the Religious and Theological Studies Club.

Hosted by Lebanon Valley College in partnership with St. Francis University, the conference featured paper presentations from 28 students representing 16 colleges and universities.

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