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‘Love Made Public’ explores the connection between spirituality and activism

October 28, 2016
By Emmy Newman’17

How does spirituality affect social activism? During common hour for the next three consecutive Mondays, a trio of Beloit professors explore how spirituality affects commitment to social justice and change in the speaking series “Love Made Public.” The series aims to show college community members how faculty navigate the intersections of their own professional, personal, and spiritual lives to create a more just world.

On Oct. 31, Ron Watson, professor of political science and health and society, will kick off the series. Ron will discuss the variety of reasons that religiosity and spirituality become motivators behind social actions. “I hope [students] will recognize that it is essential that we question all of our beliefs and values, and cling to those parts that make us better members of society as a whole,” says Ron. In the second week of the series on Nov. 7, Nicole Truesdell , professor of anthropology, will speak in regard to her own experiences. “I never saw myself talking about love,” says Truesdell, “but [the series] is a unique opportunity to talk about a different understanding of spirituality.” As an academic community, we often fall into a dichotomy that pits religiosity against intellect, but as Nicole points out, “Why can’t you be both spiritual or religious and be in the academy?”

The third speaker of the series, Carol Wickersham, professor of sociology, will take the floor on Nov. 14. “I think that often voices of faith are absent when issues of justice are discussed on campus,” says Wickersham, citing faith as an “important variable for understanding social forces, and a powerful tool for effecting social change.”

Bring your lunch to the Spirituality Room from 12:30-1:30 p.m. to hear more about faith, justice, social activism, religiosity, and their intersectionality.