(September 27, 2013)

Religion Matters hosts Dr. Kristen Tobey, introduces legal trials of Catholic anti-nuclear activists

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College of Louisiana's "Religion Matters" speaker series is hosting University of Pittsburgh's Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Dr. Kristen Tobey, on Wednesday, October 2, in the Whited room at 7 p.m.

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Plowshares activists break-in nuclear facility

Tobey is a sociologist of American religion, and her research focuses on the dynamics and mechanisms of religious community formation and boundary maintenance in the pluralistic context of the United States.

Her presentation, "Judging the Facts and Seeing Beyond Them: Rethinking Paradigms in Religion and Law" will analyze the legal trials of Catholic anti-nuclear "Plowshares" activists. Such activists carry out civil disobedience by trespassing onto nuclear equipment manufacturing sites, pouring blood and hammering on the sites and equipment.

The presentation will also question the study of religion and law in the United States, showing how Plowshares defendants utilize the legal sphere as a space for the performance of religious identity. Tobey will explore a more expansive model of the relationship between minority religions and the courts.

On Thursday, October 3 Tobey will lead the Christian Leadership Center course with a lecture called, "A bond of union tied by God amongst ourselves': American Modes of Christian Community" and will teach in Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Dr. Spencer Dew's class, "Religion and the Body." Tobey will also participate in a lunch discussion with students on careers in the study of religion.

"Religion Matters" is a new collaborative venture between Dew and the Christian Leadership Center (CLC).

"It's about bringing diversity and depth of work in and on religion to Centenary through vocational commitment and scholarly inquiry," said Dew. "In CLC, we come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to engage in some sense of shared religiosity, faith, and practice. But just as personal beliefs, values, and backgrounds can and should never be left at the door of the classroom, so too critical intellectual and analytical skills are essential in the house of worship."

Both Dew and the CLC hope for the "Religion Matters" series to generate wide-ranging conversations across the larger Shreveport-Bossier community.

For more information contact Maegan Daigle, Assistant Director of Christian Leadership, at 318-869-5112 or sdaigle@centenary.edu.