McMurry Students Attend Parliament of the World Religions

  Gary Ellison
  Tuesday, October 27, 2015 12:40 PM
  Archives 2014 - 2015

Abilene, TX

McMurry students, faculty, and staff joined 9500 people from approximately 80 nations and 50 religions around the world at last week’s Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. A student panel presented their work at one of the breakout sessions. The panel, developed and proposed by Dr. Robert Wallace and Dr. Mark Waters, was one of 1800 proposed sessions of which just over 300 were chosen.

Students participated on the panel as part of Waters’ Sociology of Religion class. The panel presentation, entitled “Beyond Dialogue: Assisting College Students in Developing Interreligious Relationships,” included Thomas Cleary '17, Caitie Dyer '16, Nathan Hatzfeld '16, Dennis Land '17, Jamie Morgan '18, Ashley Parsley '16, Jack Payne '17, and Mitch Russell '17. The 1.5 hour panel was very well received. Waters said, “The students hit a grand slam home run.” McMurry students also participated in two reflection sessions with students and faculty from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. The group included Matt Bell '13 and Shiloh Morris '12, McMurry graduates now enrolled at Perkins. Morris is completing her M.Div. with an internship at McMurry this year.

In addition, Dr. Philip LeMasters presented a paper, “Orthodox Christian Responses to War and Violence,” at another breakout session. Although the paper is much too complex to explain in full here, LeMasters highlighted “examples of interreligious cooperation and reconciliation from which Eastern Christians and members of other religious communities may learn as they face the many challenges to interreligious harmony that exist in the contemporary Middle East.” The Abilene contingent at the Parliament included people from McMurry, HSU’s Logsdon School of Theology, ACU, and the Abilene Interfaith Council.

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