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UNI Calendar of Events

Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy and Religion Hearst Lecture: Expelling Injustice from Iowa Schools

Derrick Darby, professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan, will give a public lecture as part of the Philosophy and Religion Hearst Speaker Series. The tile of his talk is "Expelling Injustice from Iowa Schools." Darby is the co-author of the forthcoming  book, "The Color of Mind: Why the Origins of Achievement Gap Matters for Justice."

Lecture: "Expelling Injustice from Iowa's Schools"

Derrick Darby, Univerity of Michigan, will reflect philosophically on the issue of justice in the Iowa school system in which black students perform below the national average in test scores, have lower scores than white students, are less likely than whites to graduate high school and are four times more likely than white students to be disciplined and removed from class. The lecture is open to the public, free of charge.  

Philosophy and Religion Hearst Lecture: Death-Qualifying the Jury, Constituting the People

"Death-Qualifying the Jury, Constituting the People," a lecture by Winnifred Sullivan, Professor of Religion and Affiliate Professor of Law at Indiana Univeristy, who will describe the jury’s distinctive role in the administration of the death penalty in the US. She will consider the effect of efforts by U.S. courts to secularize and rationalize the process by banning the Bible and biblical words from the death penalty trial and insisting on an entirely individualized decision by each juror. 

Spying on the Pope: The Religious Roots of the CIA

Michael Graziano, philosophy and world religions, will present "Spying on the Pope: The Religious Roots of the CIA." What does religion have to do with spycraft? During World War II, American spies focused on religious ideas and institutions, and the results helped shape the nature of the CIA that was created after the war, providing lessons for how the U.S. government thinks about religion and national security today.


"Old" Feminism, "New" Feminism and Religion

Abbylynn Helgevold, philosophy and world religions, will present a lecture title "Old" Feminism, "New" Feminism and Religion. She will discuss religion's role in shaping conceptions of women's empowerment and dignity through examining the "new" feminism being developed within and supported by the Catholic Church; explore the connection between this form of feminism and ideas about masculinity and femininity; and discuss the role of women's particular reproductive capacities in shaping the ethical vision advanced by the movement.

The Culture Wars: The New Left and the Rise of the Neoconservatives in America

Andrew Hartman, associate professor of history at Illinois State University, will present "The Culture Wars: The New Left and the Rise of the Neoconservatives in America." Hartman will discuss how the radical political mobilizations of the 1960s gave rise to a group of reactionaries who came to be called "neoconservatives."  Contact Jerry Soneson at or 273-6221 for more information.

We the People: Trust in Public Discourse

Bill Clohesy, professor of philosophy, will present “’We the People’: Trust in Public Discourse.” Freedom of religion and secular government are inseparable in the American republic.  This talk explores the Constitution’s secular promise of respect for both politics and religion—if we choose to accept it. Today, numerous opponents would undo both secular republican government and respect for religious diversity. Our greatest defense is still to practice politics as the exchange of opinion upon which all true government rests. For more information, contact Martha Reineke at

Islam in Iowa: An American Story

Cara Burnidge, assistant professor of religion, will present “Islam in Iowa: An American Story.” This lecture will tell the story of Islam in America, giving special attention to Islam in Iowa. Like many native and naturalized citizens, Muslims around the world viewed the United States as a place of opportunity and freedom from religious persecution. Iowa, in particular, provided such opportunities for Muslim immigrants, which is why it is home to the oldest mosque in the United States, the Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids. For more information, contact Martha Reineke at

Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: The Heritage of the Bible in the Qu'ran

John Burnight, assistant professor of religion, will present "Abraham, Moses and Jesus: The Heritage of the Bible in the Qu'ran." His presentation will examine a number of the Qur’anic passages discussing these and several other biblical figures, highlighting the important role that each plays in Islam. This is the first in a three-lecture series sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and World Religions on the topic "Islam and Iowa Politics." For more information, contact Martha Reineke at  


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