Religion and race lecture to engage students, offer perspective on topics in modern society

February 14, 2017

Daryn Vlad

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     Learning about the constructs of religion doesn’t just have to be in the confines of a classroom.

     Religion and Race: Why Won’t They Go Away?, will be held at 6:30-7:45 p.m. on Feb. 15.

     Jeff Scholes, director of the Center of Religious Diversity and Public Life, will host the event, which explores how race and religion exist together in modern society.

     Ted Vial, professor at Iliff School of Theology, will share his ideas on the racialization of religion at the event. According to Scholes, Vial will untangle history in discussing the Enlightenment Project and the creation of race and religion.

     “The simple putting together of race and religion is not something people do in their own minds,” Scholes said.

     “I think Vial will reflect on how students view the two and challenge separation.”

     The event intends to offer students a new perspective on the way that religion and race operate together in modern society. The lecture was scheduled prior to the Presidential Election, but Scholes thinks that the information matches the current political climate.

     Scholes agrees with Vial’s argument that religion and race are connected in many ways.

     “There is a need to separate people based on power. It is difficult to separate the two,” he said.

     Vial teaches modern western religious thought, as well as Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment ideas of religion. He believes that religion is a racialized category and that it is important to recognize this.

     In addition to publishing his own book, Vial is involved with the American Academy of Religious Publications Committee and edited a book series with the Oxford Press on the study of religion.

     Scholes encourages students to visit the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life, where students, scholars tand community members are welcome to speak freely about different types of religions.