Politics and Religion. Second Faith Forward public symposium presented by CHNU 10 Television and TWU.

Canada Research Chair Dr. Jens Zimmermann along with Dr. John Dyck and Dr. Paul Rowe make up the TWU Research Group Members who are responsible for the 2008 Faith Forward Symposium. The free public symposium entitled: Politics and the Religious Imagination takes place March 12-15 and is produced in part by CHNU 10 Television.

Politics and Religion. The two mix as well as oil and water - or do they? At Trinity Western University between March 12-15, the second free public symposium entitled Faith Forward: Politics and The Religious Imagination will ask questions on how politics and religion can possibly combine together in a constructive way.

The highly spirited symposium will feature intellectual heavy weights such as Richard Kearney (Philosophy; Boston College), Simon Critchley (Philosophy; New York School of Social Research), Father Raymond de Souza (University Chaplain; National Post Columnist), and Paul Gottfried (Political Philosophy; Elizabethtown College). The four keynote speakers will address audiences and field questions on topics as varied as religion and war; the maintenance of cultural identity through religion; how the US mixes politics and religion, and how Canada does or doesn't; and what the separation of church and state actually looks like.

The symposium will also feature four public panels occurring throughout the Saturday on the topics of Philosophy and the Religious Imagination; US Politics and the Religious Imagination; Imagining Contact: Religious Imagination among Civilizations; and Politics and the Religious Imagination in the Global South. International representatives and scholars will engage in round table discussions as they bat about these themes.

Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture Jens Zimmermann says, "Anyone who watches the nightly news knows that the stories we tell shape the way we view the world. Many of the most important stories come from our religious traditions. This is what ‘Politics and the Religious Imagination' is all about - what do the stories we tell from our religious traditions have to tell us about the kind of politics we have?"

If attendance at the first Faith Forward symposium last year was any reflection on the interest that the public has on issues relating to religion, culture and conflict, then Zimmermann and other TWU Research Group Members, Dr. Paul Rowe and Dr. John Dyck will see another successful year.

The three scholars began the group a little over a year ago. The aim was to explore religious traditions and how they relate to cultures both in the Western world and the East. Their hope is that timely discussions can be had, resulting in the public's greater understanding of religious perspectives that guide and shape our world.

This need for understanding and discussion was also shared by television broadcaster CHNU 10. The regional network approached Trinity Western University with a proposal to develop a series of events in which religion and faith could be explored and made available to the community via broadcast and thus the Faith Forward Symposium was born. Viewers of CHNU 10 will be able to tune in and watch interviews with all of the keynote speakers at this year's symposium.

General Manager of CHNU 10 Terry Mahoney says, "As British Columbia's only faith-affirming television station, CHNU is delighted to be an integral part of this most important and exciting initiative. We feel it is of utmost importance to our community, indeed even our nation, that people of all faiths have the opportunity of safe, informed and respectful dialogue on important matters of common, even universal, interest. We are fortunate indeed to have TWU in our midst and we count ourselves doubly blessed to be able to participate in a material way.

For more information on Faith Forward: Politics and the Religious Imagination contact Laura Brown at 888-7511 ext 2151 or email: at brownl@shaw.ca or visit the website at www.twu.ca/rcc.

Attendance at the conference is free of charge but seats are limited.

Event At A Glance

What: Free public symposium entitled: Faith Forward: Politics and The Religious Imagination www.twu.ca/rcc
When: March 12-15
Where: Northwest Auditorium, Trinity Western University, Saturday panels in Room 121, Robert N. Thompson Building, Trinity Western University
Cost: Admittance is free of charge but seats are limited. Arrive early to guarantee a seat.
Contact: Laura Brown 604-888-7511 ext 2151 or email: brownl@shaw.ca

Schedule At A Glance

Wednesday, March 12
7:30-9:30 PM - Keynote Address with Richard Kearney
Northwest Auditorium, Trinity Western University

Thursday, March 13
1:10-2:20 PM - Keynote Address with Paul Gottfried
Room 125, Robert N Thompson Building, Trinity Western University

7:30-9:30 PM - Keynote Address with Father Raymond de Souza
Northwest Auditorium, Trinity Western University

Friday, March 14
10:00-11:30AM - Lived Religion - A Multi Faith Panel with Community Leaders including Simon Critchley, Paul Gottfried, Richard Kearney, and Raymond De Souza
Northwest Auditorium, Trinity Western University

1:10-2:35 PM - Keynote Address with Simon Critchley
Northwest Auditorium, Trinity Western University

Panels featuring Current Research on Politics and the Religious Imagination
Room 121, Robert N. Thompson Building, Trinity Western University
To download the Politics And The Religious Imagination Paper Panels please visit: http://www.twu.ca/sites/rcc/symposia/2008sym/pri-programme.pdf

PANEL ONE: 9:00-10:15 AM
Imagining Religion and Politics 1:

Philosophy and the Religious Imagination
Torrey Shanks (UBC), "Religion, Imagination, and and Political Membership in the Thought of John Locke"
Miriam Bentwich (Munk Centre, Toronto), "Only in Fairy Tales? Reconciling the Destiny/Liberty Division with Jewish Chasidic Fables"
Gustavo Morello (Cordoba, Argentina), "Charles Taylor's Modernity in a Latin American Catholicism"

PANEL TWO: 10:30 AM -12:30 PM
Products of the Religious Imagination 1:
US Politics and the Religious Imagination

Terri Fine (Central Florida), "Understanding Jewish Women and their Efforts to Secure Political Power"
David Gutterman (Willamette), "Narrating Desire: the Gospel of Wealth in Christian America"
Sandy Livingston (Aberdeen), "Southern Baptists and the Religious Right"
Andrew Pieper (Kennesaw State), "Green for God: Religious Environmentalists in the United States"
Lawrence McAndrews (St. Norbert College), "Agents of Change: Lyndon Johnson, Catholics, and Civil Rights"

PANEL THREE: 1:30-3:00
Imagining Religion and Politics 2:
Imagining Contact: Religious Imagination among Civilizations

Shehnaz Hozaima (TWU), "End-time Narratives of the Abrahamic Faiths and their Impact on the Middle East Conflict"
Kristen Urban (Mount St. Mary's), "Isaac and Ishmael: Politics and Peace Deriving from Narratives of Loss"
Imed Nsiri (AU Sharjah), "Andalusia in Muslim Imagination"
Hassan Bashir (Texas A&M), "Delusions of Celestial Perfection: Jesuit Missionaries in Early Modern China"

PANEL FOUR: 3:15-4:45 PM
Products of the Religious Imagination 2:
Politics and the Religious Imagination in the Global South

Joanne Pepper (TWU), "Religious Imagination and Emerging Political Will:Voices from the South"
Shelly Ghai (McGill), "Telling Multiple Stories: the BJP's Appeal to Group-Specific Interests and the Hindutva Master Frame"
Jeffrey Lubang (De La Salle, Philippines), "Syncretic Faith: the Catholic and Indigenous Influences of Certain Existing Religious Groups in Laguna, the Philippines"

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C. is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 40 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology and leadership, and offers interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Biblical Studies, Biotechnology and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.


Last Updated: 2008-03-07
Author: Erin Mussolum