St. Olaf Institute for Freedom and Community

St. Olaf College
Apr 20

Symposium on Religious and Political Disagreement

Robert Benne, Amy E. Black, Mitri Raheb, and Miroslav Volf Start: Thursday, April 20, 2017 End: Friday, April 21, 2017 St. Olaf College, Tomson Hall 280

The St. Olaf College Institute for Freedom and Community will host a Symposium on Religious and Political Disagreement that will feature four distinguished scholars of religion: Robert Benne, Amy Black, Mitri Raheb, and Miroslav Volf.

These four distinguished scholars of religion will address issues of religious and political disagreement as they bear on (a) diversity within the Christian community largely considered, (b) differences among evangelical Christians, (c) debates arising out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and (d) disagreements among the “world religions” (e.g., Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism) and secular perspectives in pluralistic and globalized societies.

The event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Freedom & Community and the Martin E. Marty Chair in Religion and the Academy.

Tomson Hall 280
St. Olaf College
Northfield, MN 55057
Start: Thursday, April 20, 2017 End: Friday, April 21, 2017 Add to Google Calendar »

About the Speakers

Robert Benne
Robert BenneJordan-Trexler Professor of Religion Emeritus and Research Associate at Roanoke College

Robert Benne is the Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion Emeritus and research associate in the Religion and Philosophy Department of Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He teaches Christian ethics for the online Lutheran Institute for Theology. In 1982 he founded the Roanoke College Center for Religion and Society, which the college named in his honor in 2013. He was the Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion and chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department at Roanoke College for 18 years.  Before that he was a professor of church and society at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for 17 years. A native of Nebraska and a graduate of Midland University, his graduate degrees are from the University of Chicago. He has lectured and written widely on the relation of Christianity and culture. A recent book was titled Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics. In 2017 Eerdmans will publish his account of Roanoke College’s relation to its Lutheran heritage in a book tentatively titled The Quest for Soul at Roanoke College — Learnings from its 175 Year Venture in Christian Higher Education.

Amy E. Black
Amy E. BlackProfessor of Political Science at Wheaton College

Amy E. Black is a professor of political science at Wheaton College. She is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and earned her Ph.D. in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A specialist in American Government, her research interests include religion and politics and Congress. She joined Wheaton’s faculty after serving as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the office of Representative Melissa A. Hart (R-PA). Her time in D.C. gave her the opportunity to apply her academic training and research to the real-world setting of the House of Representatives. She is the author of many articles and reviews. Her books include Honoring God in Red or Blue: Approaching Politics with Humility, Grace, and Reason; Religion and American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives, edited with Douglas Koopman and Larycia Hawkins; Beyond Left and Right: Helping Christians Make Sense of American Politics; From Inspiration to Legislation: How an Idea Becomes a Law; and, with Douglas Koopman and David Ryden, Of Little Faith: The Politics of George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiatives. She regularly contributes commentary to the Christian Science Monitor and to the Center for Public Justice’s Capital Commentary.

Mitri Raheb
Mitri RahebPresident of Dar al-Kalima University College in Bethlehem and President of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

Mitri Raheb is the founder and president of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem in addition to being the president of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. The most widely published Palestinian theologian to date, he is the author of 16 books. His latest book is Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes. A social entrepreneur, he has founded several church-related organizations in addition to several other civic initiatives on national, regional, and international levels. The 50-year-old multilingual contextual theologian received in 2015 the Olof Palme Prize, in 2012 the German Media Prize that is mainly granted to heads of states, in 2003 the prestigious Wittenberg Award from the Luther Center in DC, in 2006 the “International Mohammad Nafi Tschelebi Peace Award” of the Central Islam Archive in Germany, and in 2007 the well-known German Peace Award of Aachen. His work has received wide media attention from major international media outlets and networks including CNN, ABC, CBS, 60 Minutes, BBC, The Economist, Newsweek, Al-Jazeera, Vanity Fair, and others.

Miroslav Volf
Miroslav VolfHenry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture

Miroslav Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and the founder and director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He was educated in his native Croatia, the United States, and Germany, earning doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tuebingen, Germany. He has written or edited more than 20 books and over 90 scholarly articles. His most significant books include Exclusion and Embrace, winner of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and one of Christianity Today’s 100 most important religious books of the 20th century; After Our Likeness, in which he explores the Trinitarian nature of ecclesial community; Allah: A Christian Response, on whether Muslims and Christians have a common God; and A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good. His most recent books, Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World and Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity (co-authored with Ryan McAnnally-Linz) were released in January and June of 2016. He is actively involved in many top-level initiatives concerning Christian-Muslim relations.