Religion & Philosophy Department

Lebanon Valley College

Welcome to BRAINSTORMS

Welcome to the blog for the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Lebanon Valley College.  We plan to use this site as an extension of the conversations we are having both within and outside the classroom.  It is being launched in conjunction with the new monthly discussion group we have planned for this semester.

We believe this is one of the most exciting and important times in recent memory, both for the department and the college as a whole.  We welcome the LVC’s new president, Dr. Lewis Evitts Thayne, and appreciate the emphasis he has already placed on academic excellence.  His vision aligns well with our department of committed, innovative, and award-winning teachers, and internationally recognized scholars.  It aligns well with several of our departmental initiatives as well — whether that be our continued stress of the core competencies of liberal learning (e.g., critical thinking, effective oral and written communication, intercultural knowledge and competence, etc.), the capstone senior thesis research project and portfolio required of all Religion and Philosophy majors, or our more recent efforts at creating models of undergraduate research in the humanities.

We are excited to be at full force as a department, with Dr. Noelle Vahanian coming off of her year-long sabbatical.  And with Dr. Nikolay Karkov still with us as an adjunct instructor, we are in the fortunate position of “the many increased by one.”

Look for posts in upcoming weeks from Dr. Vahanian about her sabbatical research project on the Armenian genocide (for a LVC news story about her research, check out this link).   Also, in advance of our first BRAINSTORMS discussion group meeting on Wednesday, September 5th, Dr. Bob Valgenti will provide a sneak peak of the discussion he’ll be leading on the theme of HAPPINESS, which is this year’s college colloquium topic (for the full calendar of events for the college colloquium, check out this link).  And finally, together with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Spiritual Life, Dr. Matt Sayers has helped organized a series of SUSTAINED INTERFAITH DIALOGUES.  These dialogues will be held in 11am in the Lobby of Miller Chapel on the following dates:

Thursday, September 6: Gender
Tuesday, October 2: Sexual Orientation
Tuesday, October 30: Politics

These events promise to be great occasions for our students and the entire college community to meet with members from diverse religious traditions about topics of widespread and urgent concern.

In short, we have no shortage of excitement and important learning opportunities.  We hope you will join us in these discussions, both online and on campus.