Religion & Philosophy Department

Lebanon Valley College

2014 Commencement

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It was a bittersweet graduation season for the Department of Religion and Philosophy. Not only did we graduate one of our largest classes in recent memory (Marquis Bey, Ashley Ferrari, Daniel Kimmel, Dylan Matusek, and Colleen Smith), but also the most honored. Three of the five graduates from the department graduated Summa Cum Laude; one with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Both Daniel Kimmel and Ashley Ferrari were singled out by the college in profile stories that showcased them as model, even inspirational, students. Click here to read the full story on Daniel: http://www.lvc.edu/News/index.aspx?newsid=6a7e2e55-3390-4e82-a123-d6edcfef44c0&HeadLine=Daniel%20Kimmel. Click here to read the full story on Ashley: http://www.lvc.edu/News/index.aspx?newsid=4e4bab36-ef19-447a-ad3b-7e30bbf5b68c&HeadLine=Cultivating%20a%20Love%20of%20Learning%20of%20Wonder:%20Ashley%20Ferrari%20’14

Also, at the Commencement ceremony, the department swept the college awards: Marquis Bey was named the recipient of the H. Anthony Neidig Award as the most outstanding student of his graduating class. Rabbi Paul Reimers was given the Nevelyn J. Knisley Award for Inspirational Teaching. This is the annual teaching award that is given to the most outstanding adjunct instructor at the college. And last but not least, Dr. Matt Sayers was given the Thomas Rhys Vickroy Distinguished Teaching Award, which is the college’s most prestigious annual teaching award. Dr. Sayers was awarded the Vickroy on the basis of his excellence in the classroom and the various co-curricular initiatives he has led. In the ceremony announcing his award, he was proclaimed “an educational innovator—a gifted, dedicated, and impactful teacher with a firm grasp of course design and effective teaching pedagogies, and a commitment to the continuous reevaluation and improvement of his teaching to enhance student learning.” You can read more about the commencement ceremony and the various awards from the LVC homepage at http://www.lvc.edu/News/index.aspx?newsid=904e2723-b430-46a3-b9f3-3a9a909ef40e.

Becoming a Brain

An event has been planned at Union Theological Seminary in New York for the purpose of celebrating and discussing the publication of my book with Clayton Crockett. It will include me and Professor Crockett (obviously). Mark L. Taylor of Princeton Theological Seminary and Cornel West of Princeton University and also of Union Theological (see http://www.cornelwest.com/) will part of the program as well.

It should be very interesting and a lot of fun.

It is free and open to the public. But if you think you might attend, you will need to RSVP via http://www.utsnyc.edu/events-calendar?cid=52&ceid=2545&cerid=0&cdt=2%2F11%2F2013&erid=865461&trid=e6434ab7-dc40-4672-89ca-9756a0873097

Here is the official press release from Union Theological for the event:

In 1967, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was scheduled to deliver his famous ‘Beyond Vietnam’ speech at Union Theological Seminary. The speech connected racism, materialism, and militarism not only in the struggle for civil rights in the US, but also in the war in Vietnam. Due to tremendous public interest and Union’s limited ability to host large audiences, Dr. King’s appearance was moved to The Riverside Church.

In that same spirit of engaged social justice, Union will host Dr. Jeffrey Robbins and Dr. Clayton Crockett, two prolific scholars working out of the lineage of American radical theology. Both have argued for the need to critically interrogate the latent political quietism, if not conservatism, of that tradition. They have a shared interest in critically interrogating the intersection of religion and politics, as evidenced by their co-authored book Religion, Politics and the Earth: The New Materialism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). In doing so, they have helped to focus contemporary theological discussions on the values implicit in money and the environmental, social, and political degradation associated with the apparent triumph of global capital. This radical political theology has emerged as an important new alternative for religious scholars and activists committed to issues of equality and social justice, and has an obvious connection to the voices of liberation theology.

Union’s Cornel West and Princeton Theological Seminary’s Mark Lewis Taylor will join the conversation.

Please note: This event is free and open to the public. However, due to space limitations, there is no assigned or reserved seating. We strongly encourage attendees and their guests to arrive early so that we may manage our space more effectively. The doors will open 45 minutes before the start of the event.

Registration is required. RSVP online.