WMU News

Politics of identity focus of visiting scholar

Nov. 10, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- An expert in the politics of identity and the issues of social and economic justice will visit Western Michigan University Monday, Nov. 13.

Dr. Gregory Baum, professor emeritus of religious studies at McGill University in Montreal, will be on campus as part of WMU's Visiting Scholars and Artists Program. He will present a free public lecture titled "Religion and the Politics of Identity," at 7:30 p.m. in Room 2452 of Knauss Hall.

Baum, who is the author of more than 20 books, including "That They May Be One," "The Social Imperative," and "Ethics and Economics," will speak about the politics of identity around the globe, focusing on such current hot spots as Palestine and Israel as well as Quebec, South Africa and Germany. He will advocate for the "right to otherness" by minorities and explore the possibility of reconciliation between adversaries, emphasizing the role of religion in such accords.

Baum, who received a doctorate of theology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, studied sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York. He was a professor of religious studies at McGill until he retired with emeritus status in 1997.

His visit is sponsored by WMU's departments of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Sociology. For more information, contact Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert, WMU professor emeritus of comparative religion, at (616) 381-0864.

The Visiting Scholars and Artists Program was established in 1960 and has supported more than 500 visits by scholars and artists representing more than 65 academic disciplines. The chairperson of the committee who oversees the program is Dr. James M. Hillenbrand, professor of speech pathology and audiology.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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