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FIFTH ANNUAL GOD AND SEXUALITY CONFERENCE, "HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE WORLD RELIGIONS: PART III," WILL MEET AT BARD ON APRIL 25–26

Emily M. Darrow
845-758-7512
darrow@bard.edu
04-26-2004

FIFTH ANNUAL GOD AND SEXUALITY CONFERENCE, "HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE WORLD RELIGIONS: PART III," WILL MEET AT BARD ON APRIL 25–26

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—A group of students and scholars will convene the fifth God and Sexuality Conference, "Homosexuality and the World Religions: Part III," at Bard College on April 25 and 26. The two-day, student-initiated event will offer a combination of academic presentations, seminar-style workshops, and informal discussions.

The God and Sexuality Conference was created in 1999 in response to scholarly attempts to understand what religious communities and traditions have to say about issues of sexuality and gender. The resulting project brings together scholars of history, anthropology, religion, political science, and sociology.

This year’s conference concludes the three-part series that focuses on homosexuality and world religions. Participating scholars include, among others, Gayle Baldwin, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of North Dakota; Roxanne Gupta, assistant professor of religious studies at Albright College; Ralph Hexter, executive dean, College of Letters and Science at UC Berkeley; Mark Jordan, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion at Emory University; Jeff Kripal, Lynette S. Autry Associate Professor of Religious Studies and director of Asian Studies at Rice University; Paul Murray, visiting assistant professor of religion at Bard, Catholic priest, and conference chairman; Rabbi Goldie Milgram, Jewish chaplain at Bard; and Nerina Rustomji, assistant professor of history and religion at Bard.

On Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. the conference will screen the new film Tarik al-Hob/The Road to Love, directed by Remi Lange. This Moroccan film addresses topical issues relating to the conference. A discussion will follow with director Parvez Sharma and Moroccan writer Abdellah Taia.

Conference founder, advisory board member, and Bard alumnus Gabriel Blau ’02 says, "Activists need something to point to, research that supports their work. The God and Sexuality Conference is committed to making sure that the work is there and that it means something."

The conference, unique as a student-initiated academic event, is a place where seasoned scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, religious leaders, and interested laypeople learn together and interact as equals.

K. C. Serota, director of the conference committee for the past three years and a Bard senior, believes the work is important on many levels. "We present a compelling argument that religion is not a stagnant or monolithic institution, but a fluid, individual-oriented community. The conference is a place where students can talk honestly with academics and clergy, where professionals can meet and form partnerships, and activists can plan new events. The message presented at the conference seems to resonate with our participants who feel this message deeply and leave energized, ready to work for change whether in the academy, at home, in their religious environment, or on an everyday basis."

The papers presented from all the God and Sexuality conferences will be included in an upcoming volume on traditional and modern views of homosexuality in five major religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam.

Workshops this year will cover a broad range of topics that supplement the academic speakers’ presentations. Additionally, there will be an evening event on Sunday. Conference registration (including participation in the workshops) is $60; students are $40.

For further information on the conference, or to register, visit the website at www.godandsexuality.org, call 845-752-4663, or e-mail gsc@bard.edu.

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(4.5.2004)

Website: http://www.godandsexuality.org

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This event was last updated on 04-29-2004