Veninga Lecture Series: Religion and Politics, Laying Down the Sword

Philip Jenkins will be the featured speaker for the second annual James F. Veninga Lecture on Religion and Politics. Dr. Jenkins is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University (PSU), Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, and author of the acclaimed Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses and Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, And Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe For The Next 1,500 Years. He is a contributing editor and columnist for numerous journals, including Studies of Religion, The American Conservative, The Christian Century and The Atlantic, and his primary research areas include global religious violence, terrorism, Native American spirituality, and the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals. Jenkins’ work has addressed such topical issues as the media’s interest in the socalled “crisis of celibacy” and whether the Catholic Church is more likely than other organizations to be involved in misconduct. He has also studied parallel processes of what he calls “holy amnesia” in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, in which violence in sacred texts become symbolic action against one’s sins.

On September 26, 2013, WIPPS, in collaboration with UW-­Marathon County and UW Colleges/UW-­Extension and generously supported by the B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation, will sponsor a 7 p.m. free public event in the UW Center for Civic Engagement Theatre in honor of James F. Veninga, former Campus Executive Officer and Dean at UWMC.