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USF to host conference on new religions, globalization

TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of South Florida will be hosting the “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on New Religions: Globalization & Sustainability” conference on Thursday, March 1, 2012. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in MSC 3707 and MSC 2709 as well as at the Patel Center.

The conference, hosted in conjunction with the Department of Religious Studies, will feature various speakers on subjects ranging from extraterrestrial intelligence, to new religious fads and to the sacralization of consumer technology.

Keynote speakers include James R. Lewis, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Tromso in Norway, J. Gordon Melton, professor of American religious history at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies in Religion, and Bron Taylor, professor of religion and environmental ethnics at the University of Florida.

“This conference allows USF a unique opportunity to feature how the study of new religions is a vibrant, extensive and relevant area of interdisciplinary academic research,” said Sean Currie, a graduate student in USF’s Department of Sociology and conference co-chair. “It is also a way for international, national and local scholars from USF and the surrounding area to come together, present their work, and demonstrate the importance of this field of research.”

The conference is open to USF students, faculty and the general public. Currie expects undergraduate students and local religious professionals to be the most interested.

“Religious conflict is a real global issue today,” Currie said. “New religions sometimes come into conflict with the norms, value and laws of their communities. Understanding these religions and learning how multiple faiths can co-exist among one another peacefully is vital in order to ensure sustainable societies.”

For a complete conference schedule, please visit the conference website.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Events Religious Studies   
Author: Meghan Mangrum