UBC's Ara Norenzayan to speak at TWU

Ara Norenzavan, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at UBC will be presenting his most recent study and article on “The Evolution of Religious Pro-sociality” at a public lecture held at Trinity Western University on November 17th.

On Tuesday November 17th, Dr. Ara Norenzayan, one of UBC’s most notable commentators on religion and public life, will be sharing thoughts from his recent work at a public lecture held at Trinity Western University.  Among other things, the Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology specializes in the social-psychological role religion plays in contributing to peace and conflict..

“Ara has an interesting take on one of the biggest questions of the last decade - the extent to which religion is constructive or destructive of social order,” says Associate Professor and Coordinator of Political and International Studies Dr. Paul Rowe

Rowe, together with Assistant Professor of Political Studies Dr. John Dyck, and Canadian Research Chair in Religion, Culture and Interpretation Dr. Jens Zimmermann, make up the Religion Culture and Conflict Research Group (RCC), whose primary purpose is to seek ways to explore religious traditions in their entirety, and their relation to the larger culture.  After reading about Norenzayan’s work in the Vancouver Sun, the group was keen to have the UBC professor visit TWU and present his findings.

For this particular event the group has aligned with Dr. Paul Chamberlain, Associate Professor of Apologetics at ACTS Seminaries, who is a well-known expert and debater on topics such as ethics, physician-assisted suicide, philosophy of religion, and apologetics.

Norenzayan’s most recent article titled “The Origin and Evolution of Religious Pro-sociality” published in the journal Science in October 2008 has garnered international press attention, and at the lecture he will discuss topics addressed in the article, highlighting the way in which religion commends pro-social behaviour, the role of religion in building social capital, and the positive force of religion in conflicted societies. Following his lecture Chamberlain and Rowe will respond. 

Rowe says, “Norenzayan’s research in the field of social psychology brings a social science perspective on religion that is not typically explored here at TWU which makes for interesting dialogue and exploration.”

The public lecture is co-hosted by the RCC Research Group and the Apologetics Institute. For more information visit www.twu.ca/rcc or contact Dr. Paul Rowe at 604-513-2121 ext. 3133.

To read the article written on Ara Norenzayan's research by Vancouver Sun reporter Douglas Todd click here.

Event at a Glance

What: Public Lecture - Ara Norenzayan, Dept of Psychology, UBC - "The Evolution of Religious Pro-sociality"

When: November 17th, 2009

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Alumni Hall, 2nd floor, Reimer Student Centre

Cost: Free to attend

Contact: Paul Rowe at 604-513-2121 ext 3133 or email paul.rowe@twu.ca

Website: www.twu.ca/rcc

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

Last Updated: 2009-11-10
Author: Erin Mussolum