Memphis— The Second Annual Vanderhaar Symposium will focus on the issue of people of all faiths, nationalities, and ethnicities who have been excluded or are outside the mainstream of American society. Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez, professor and chair of the department of theology and religious studies at Seattle University, will speak at the Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium, held Thursday, March 29, 2007, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., in the Canale Arena on the Christian Brothers University (CBU) campus. Speaking from the perspective of one whose theology is centered in the commitment of welcoming all people, Rodriguez’ speech is: “Welcoming the Stranger: The Promise and Challenge”. Rodriguez will challenge those present to align their faith principles with this critical issue of welcoming people of all backgrounds.
Also that evening, a Mid-South university student will be recognized with the Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Student Peace Award. Annually, this award is given to a student who best exemplifies the spirit and practice of nonviolence consistent with Dr. Vanderhaar’s life and work. The recipient will make a presentation of his/her work prior to the lecture.
A Hispanic/Latina theologian, Dr. Rodriguez received her Ph.D. at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. A prolific writer, she is author of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Empowerment among Mexican American Women, and Stories We Live, and has written numerous articles on U.S. Hispanic theology, spirituality, and cultural memory. She serves on the National Council of Pax Christi USA.
The Vanderhaar Symposium was founded in honor of Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar, a professor of religion for 28 years at CBU, who spent his lifetime promoting peace and active nonviolence. Each year, the Symposium invites a noted scholar and/or activist to the CBU campus to address a social and moral issue related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching.
The Symposium is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception. Parking is available in the CBU Central Avenue lot at no cost. For more information, contact Lisa Bell, at (901) 321-4299.