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Malone University welcomes author William Cavanaugh, 2014 Woolman Series Lecture Series March 11-12

February 26, 2014 | Release # 6850

Malone University will present the next installment of The John Woolman Christian Scholar Lecture Series on March 11 and 12 in the Johnson Center for Worship and the Fine Arts, located on the campus at 2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W. in Canton, Ohio.

Bill CavanaughThis year's visiting lecturer will be William Cavanaugh, Ph.D.,professor of theology and Catholic studies at DePaul University. Both lectures will take place at 7:30 p.m. in room 106, and are free and open to the public.

Titles and descriptions of Dr. Cavanaugh's lectures are as follows:

Lecture One (March 11): "The Myth of Religious Violence"

In this lecture, Dr. Cavanaugh will challenge the common idea that religion is more inherently prone to violence than secular ideologies and institutions.  He argues that the distinction between "religious" and "secular" is an arbitrary one, a modern Western creation and not embedded in the nature of things. There is no essential difference between "religious" and "secular" ideologies and institutions; people are just as inclined to kill for nation and freedom and the flag and oil as they are for God or gods.

Lecture Two (March 12): "Secularization and Idolatry"

In this lecture, Dr. Cavanaugh picks up on some of the themes from the first lecture and develops them in a more theological way.  He will examine the biblical theme of idolatry and show that people are inclined to treat all sorts of things as gods.  He argues that we do not live in a secularized society at all, if "secular" means disenchanted or devoid of gods. In fact, we live in a society where people are enchanted by material things.

Dr. Cavanaugh received his B.A. from Notre Dame, his M.A. from Cambridge University, and his Ph.D. from Duke University. His areas of teaching and research include political theology, economic ethics, and ecclesiology. His books include Torture and Eucharist (1998), Theopolitical Imagination (2003), Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (2008), The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (2009), and Migrations of the Holy (Eerdmans, 2011). His books have been translated into French, Spanish, and Polish. He has published many journal articles, and is co-editor of the journal Modern Theology.

The Lecture Series is named for John Woolman (1720-1772), a Quaker from New Jersey who provided much of the theological, intellectual, and ethical foundation for the earliest antislavery activities in America. Drawing from traditional Christian, Quaker, evangelical, quietist, and rationalist sources, Woolman published works that encouraged others to rethink the Friends' role in addressing a range of topics including slavery, working conditions, spiritual discipline, pacifism, the use of wealth, the use of time, and relationships with Native Americans. His antislavery writings and speaking campaigns throughout the colonies helped prompt the Friends to become the first body of Americans to actively denounce slavery and require all its members to free any person that they held in slavery. Providing some of the earliest inspiration for the major ethical shift in thinking about slavery, Woolman's writings and actions influenced leaders in the early antislavery and abolitionist movements in America and Great Britain.

To learn more about the Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences at Malone University, please click here.

Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2014,has been awarded the designation Military Friendly School by Victory Media, and is named to AffordableCollegesOnline (ACO)’s Best Lifetime Return on Investment list for the State of Ohio.


Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
Malone University
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709
fgubznf+znybar+rqh Phone: 330-471-8239
Cell: 330-324-2424

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