Smith, Students Present at Religion Conference

Ripon College Professor Brian Smith, Charles and Joan Van Zoeren Chair in Religion, Ethics, and Values, made a presentation at the Spring Conference of the American Academy of Religion’s Midwest Region at Ohio Northern University on April 4 and 5. Smith’s paper was titled, “Ambiguous Prophetic Role of the Catholic Church Under Authoritarian Regimes: The Chilean Bishops’ Response to the Military Coup of 1973,” and was presented as part of a panel focused on religion, politics and oppression.

Smith also brought three Ripon College seniors to the conference who presented papers:

  • LaTia Rodgers ‘14, a religion and English major, presented “Buddhism and the Environment,” a senior seminar project examining the resources Buddhism offers for greater environmental awareness.
  • Elizabeth Blum ’14, a global studies and politics and government major, contributed “Social Justice in the Pulpit: A Small Town Study.” During her research, Blum did interviews with all active clergy in the city of Ripon, asking if, and how, they preach about issues of social justice. Her work was supported by a summer 2012 grant from the Ethical Leadership program.
  • Amanda Gesiorski ’14, a history and anthropology major, presented “Women with Habits: Two Life Histories of Catholic Sisters.” Gesiorski gathered in-depth interviews with retired Catholic nuns in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, reflecting on their lives. The work was based on a paper she wrote in an independent study class in Anthropology.

To read more about the Religion Department at Ripon College, click here.

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