Violence and the Religious Lives of Christians in the United States

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 04/06/2019
9:00 am - 1:45 pm

Location
First Presbyterian Church

Categories


Violence and the Religious Lives of Christians in the United States
Saturday, April 6, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, Dallas
Jeffrey Williams, Associate Professor of American Religious History and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

The Christian tradition has long hoped and worked for a world free of violence. Yet violence also insinuates itself into Christian thought and practice in pervasive and often surprising ways. From hymns to theologies, narratives of religious experience to ways of imagining ourselves and others, violence figures prominently and functions in complex ways. This seminar will explore historical expressions of violence in the religious lives of American Christians, considering ways that violence often becomes constitutive of the very fabric of Christian life even as Christians confront violence in order to motivate efforts to overcome it. The seminar will conclude by considering how Christians can negotiate the violent dimensions of the tradition in ways that promote human flourishing.

Jeffrey Williams is Associate Professor of American Religious History and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Brite Divinity School. He is the author of Religion and Violence in Early American Methodism: Taking the Kingdom by Force (2010) and co-editor of Institutional Change in Theological Education: A History of Brite Divinity School (2012). His primary research interests center on the constitutive nature of violence in religion and the many ways that religion influences how people imagine and carry out violence in society and culture. His current research focuses on accounts of violence in “discovery” and missionary narratives of the South Seas published in the United States in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

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