NEXUS: Religion in the Public University

From 2004 to 2008, SIRCS and the UNM Religious Studies Program sponsored a series of public events designed to promote thoughtful dialogue regarding the contemporary issues and the role of religious traditions within society and the public university. Most included public lectures on religion, ethics, and spirituality vis-a-vis contemporary issues, each free and open to the public. Most were followed by intensive dialogue sessions between university-based scholars from diverse academic disciplines and congregation-based clergy from diverse religious traditions. Nexus was primarily funded by the Lilly Endowment through the Louisville Institute. The Nexus initiative has continued through internal university events on similar topics, and may be re-launched in the future.

Public Events Sponsored/Co-sponsored by SIRCS/Religious Studies

Event Speaker Date Attendance
Ethics of Taxes in New Mexico NM Voices for Children, Director Kay Monaco
Rabbi Joseph Black, Congregation Albert
Rev.Christine Robinson, First Unitarian Church
Fr. Bob Keller, Aquinas: Newman Center
Mr.  John  Sandager, Hoffmantown  Baptist Church
~30 religious & civic leaders
American Empire: A Theological Response to the Bush Inauguration Dr. Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary Jan
~100 religious & civic leaders and UNM faculty
The Use and Misuse of Religion in Politics Rev. Brian Taylor, St. Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church
Richard Wood, UNM Religious Studies
Rev. Curtis Brickley, Hoffmantown Baptist Church,
Andy Schultz, UNM School of Law and
Rabbi Joe Black, Congregation Albert
~ 120 community members
Religion, Civil Rights, & Individual Liberties Rev. C. Becknell,  Emmanuel  Missionary Baptist Church
Sen. Mark Boitano, Republican
Sen. Dede Feldman, Democrat
Imam Isam Rajab, Islamic Center of NM Prof. Rob Schwartz, UNM School of Law
"The  Failure  of Environmentalism -- and  What  Religious Communities Can Do" Dr. Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary Sept
~100 UNM faculty & students, local leaders
Christian and Hindu on Loving God Dr. Martin Ganeri, OP; Catholic chaplain at University of Edinburgh Nov 2005 ~35  UNM faculty   & students, local religious leaders
"Saints at Odds: Islam and America in the World" Dr. Anouar Majid, University of New England Nov
~200  UNM faculty & students, local religious & civic leaders
Evolution Wars: Who's Fighting Whom about What? Dr. Martinez Hewlett, Professor Emeritus of Molecular Biology, Univ. of Arizona
Dr. Ted Peters, Graduate Theological Union at
~250  UNM faculty & students, local religious & civic leaders
Poverty in America -- Whose Responsibility? Patsy Kelton-Born, Project Share
Frank Yates, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
~80 religious & civic leaders