(February 27, 2012)

Centenary's Forum examines religiosity and happiness

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Forum, an annual event that explores social issues, will be held in the Whited Room of Bynum Commons on March 5 and March 12 at 7:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Dr. Stephen Post
Dr. Stephen Post

This year's Forum will address religiosity and happiness:

  • Are religious people happier?

  • Would a more religious society be happier than one with a secular public culture?

  • What limits should we place on public religious expression?

Dr. Stephen Post will give a presentation at the March 5 session. Post has written seven scholarly books on altruism and love and is the editor of eight other books. His most recent work is The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get us Through Hard Times, which explores Post and his family's experience with the healing power of helping others.

A group of students and citizens will continue Dr. Post's discussion on March 12. The panel will include Centenary students Kyle Kraemer and Macy Stockton as well as Reverend Matt Rawle, associate pastor at Broadmoor United Methodist Church, and Michael Treadwell, conductor for Kansas City Southern Railways. The audience will be invited to participate in the discussion and ask questions.

Columns from Dr. Post and student and citizen Forum participants will appear in the Shreveport Times prior to each meeting.

Dr. Post is Professor of Preventive Medicine, Head of the Division of Medicine in Society, and Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. Post is also a Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.

Since the late 1980s, Post has focused on issues surrounding the care of persons with developmental cognitive disabilities and dementia. He is equally recognized as a leader in the study of altruism, love, and compassion in the integrative context of scientific research, philosophy, and spirituality. He is president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, an Ohio based 501 (c)(3) established in July 2001 with support from philanthropist John Templeton and the Templeton Foundation.

He has published over 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Chris Ciocchetti, associate professor of philosophy, coordinates the annual Forum event, which presents discussions on various social issues and opposing points of view, and then features responses from students and members of the local community as well as audience questions.

For further information, contact Dr. Ciocchetti at 318.869.5246 or visit the Forum web page.