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Dr. John R. Spencer Lecture Series – “Religion and Violence”

June 8, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Dr. John R. Spencer Lecture Series

Religion and Violence:  What is the Connection? 

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There is a disturbing legacy of violence perpetrated in the name of religion in the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  We will first explore the roots of that violence in the sacred scriptures of these religions, examining texts that seem to sanction violence.  This will be followed by examples of contemporary acts of violence that claim to be justified by religion.  The question then is whether it is possible to move beyond that legacy.  To seek an answer to this question, we will question the literalistic readings of these scriptures, which are frequently used to rationalize such violence.  This will allow us to see if this connection between religion and violence can be undone.


Dr. John R. Spencer is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at John Carroll University (Ph.D. University of Chicago; MA Pacific School of Religion; BS University of California, Berkeley). He teaches in the areas of Biblical Studies, Ancient Near Eastern History, Archaeology, and inter-disciplinary topics. He frequently lectures to civic, religious, and academic communities. Dr. Spencer publishes in the fields of Archaeology and Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and is a member and officer of several professional organizations. He has worked on several archaeological excavations and has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East.


June 8, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm