Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

Topics in Religion

Date: Monday, April 29, 2013
Time: 1:00pm - 3:45pm
Location: Roth Nelson Room
Description: This session will include student presentations on a range of historical and contemporary issues concerning religion. All are welcome!

« Go back to the Schedule of Events




Student Abstracts at this Session

Student(s):
Rebecca Cardone

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Victor Thasiah
Religio-Political Implications for Turkish Nationalism With the Kurdish Refugee "Problem"

The modern Republic of Turkey, ethnically cleansed of its Armenian minority, was born with the pursuit of ultra-secular nationalism through Turkification. With the magnified tension between globalization, territorialism, and self-determination in the 21st century, Turkey is encountering religious and ethnic diversity that could either weaken or strengthen Turkishness. This research seeks to identify resources within secularism and Islam for Turkey to address its rising Kurdish refugee population through reconciling competing narratives for Turkish nationalism and foundations for Turkish identity. By expanding upon my previous research regarding the call for transition from authoritative to pluralistic secularism, I now analyze notions of secular democracy and Islamic ethics that could be mobilized for Kurdish human rights protection following genocidal persecution. Through empowering the Turkish government and civil society for greater inclusivity, Turkey may minimize the gap between structural privilege and structural violence in human rights protection from within its own national resources.




Student(s):
Alexander Daley

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Guy Erwin
Baptism: A Lutheran Necessity?

This project involves an examination of the Christian rite of baptism, predominantly focusing on the Lutheran tradition, and comparing modern understandings with those of the Reformation. Using the writings of Martin Luther and contemporary theologians, this presentation describes key aspects of the Lutheran understanding of baptism and discusses developments and changes over time. In particular, the presentation focuses on the role faith is understood to play in the sacrament of baptism, both as a impetus leading up to baptism and in its post-baptismal implications for the life of the believer.




Student(s):
Erin Hickey

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Victor Thasiah
Ulterior Causation: A Case Study of Hezbollah and the Second Lebanon War

As a case study, Lebanon’s Second War serves as an example of conflicting religious groups within the Middle-Eastern region. Through content analysis of various perspectives and focusing on the Lebanese religious-political group Hezbollah, the commonly perceived instigators of the Second Lebanon War, it can be inferred that religion may be a mask for deeper socio-political issues at the root of the problem. My analysis reveals that alternative motivation to participating in this war/conflict with particular consideration to the formation of realities and identities of Hezbollah, as well as consequences and impacts of the expansion of this religious-political group on reliant and disadvantaged Shia communities in Lebanon. What I propose after analysis is an exploration of both reparative and preventative options that need to be exercised as a means of easing the religious, socio-economic, and political tensions in Lebanon.




Student(s):
Sean Maddigan

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Peter Carlson
Transubstantiation: The Essence of Christ

The Doctrine of transubstantiation is highly misunderstood in today's world thanks to the rise of individualism and enightenment thinking. To rediscover the truth and beauty of this doctrine we will need to place ourselves outside of the modern mindset. We will delve deep into early Church writings to see what the earliest Christians believed about this central and mysterious sacrament. We will look at the definitive writings of Thomas Aquinas and medieval practices. In the end, we will arrive at a greater understanding of the Eucharist, transubstantiation, and its significance throughout the history of Christianity.




Student(s):
Laurel Skinner

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Peter Carlson
Whose Voice Can Be Heard?

In my research I define terms such as prophet, a person who speaks for God/deity by divine inspiration. I research prophets who have appeared after the apostolic age and wrestle with the question, "why do Christians have a difficult time accepting post-Jesus prophecy?" This question leads to more, such as, "does God continue to speak with us and bring us back to his message?" I have researched pre-Jesus prophets Moses, Amos, and the Greek god Dionysus, for a foundation of prophet's characteristics to which to compare Jesus. Then I analyze the characteristics, messages, and lifestyles of post-Jesus prophets: Mother Ann Lee and Joseph Smith. My presentation is split into three sections; In my second section I pose suggestions of why Christians hold a distrust of post-Jesus prophets, and at the end of my presentation I open the room up for discussion as to whether the cannon should be closed or not.




Feedback Form