Saint Martin’s University hosts “Religion and Violence” symposium on June 14-18

April 30, 2010

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University will host “Religion and Violence,” a five-day symposium featuring acclaimed faculty from Saint Martin’s, University of Washington, UC Riverside, University of Oklahoma, and Pace e Bene on June 14-18. This event will be the 28th annual Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martin’s. To register for the symposium, see details below.

This symposium will discuss and explore the complex subject of religious violence. If religion can be described as a system of signs and symbols that provide believers with the means to understand and maintain a relationship with God, gods, and/or ultimate reality, then violence is one of the most powerful concepts in that system.

The faculty for this program will include:

  • Dr. Reza Aslan, Professor, University of California, Riverside; writer for The Daily Beast; and frequent guest of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart;
  • Dr. Ken Butigan, Director, Pace e Bene, Midwest Region;
  • Dr. Charles Kimball, Chair of Religious Studies, University of Oklahoma
  • Dr. James Wellman, Chair of Comparative Religions, University of Washington

The event will culminate with a keynote address by guest faculty member Dr. Reza Aslan on Friday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Harned Hall at Saint Martin’s. Adults $10; Students and seniors $5. Tickets are limited for the keynote address.

“For the past 27 years, the Spiritual Life Institute has endeavored to stimulate dialog and challenge preconceived notions by exploring complex theological, sociological, and geopolitical topics,” says Ian Werrett, Ph.D., director of the Spiritual Life Institute. “For this summer’s program we are fortunate to play host to an internationally recognized group of speakers and I am looking forward to what is sure to be a powerful and exciting week!”

Through the Spiritual Life Institute, participants dialogue with scholars and practitioners who are active in theological reflection, spiritual formation, and peace and justice throughout the world; engage with educators who creatively share their experience, wisdom, and vision; and reflect on emerging expressions of spirituality and faith that broaden the possibilities for personal and social transformation.

For more information or to register for “Religion and Violence” sign up at

To purchase tickets for the keynote address featuring Dr. Reza Aslan, please contact Dr. Ian Werrett at or call 360-438-4290.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of communications & marketing
Saint Martin’s University