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World Religions Symposium opens Oct. 22

Furman University will hold its second annual World Religions Symposium beginning Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in Watkins Room of the Trone Student Center on the Furman campus.

The symposium is free and open to the public, and includes a series of lectures and other programs that run through Dec. 2.

The theme of this year’s forum is “Judaism: Ancient Conversation, Contemporary Voices.” All events are part of Furman’s Cultural Life Program.

The first speaker for the symposium is Cherie Brown, founder and executive director of the National Coalition Building Institute based in Washington, D.C. Her Oct. 22 talk is titled “Jewish Identity and the Impact of Antisemitism.”

The World Religions Symposium aims to provide space for religious traditions to tell their own stories, regardless of how complex or challenging those stories may be.

World Religions Symposium is sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain, Jewish Student Association, Religious Council, Furman Department of Religion, Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Heller Service Corps, James B. Duke Library, Interfaith Youth Core, Year of Altruism, and various student religious groups at Furman.

A schedule of other lectures and panel discussions following Brown’s talk follows:

  • Monday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m., Daniel Chapel; “Torah From Heaven, Heaven From Torah,” Rabbi Steven Sager (Rabbi Emeritus, Beth El Synagogue, Durham, N.C.)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m., Younts Conference Center; Charles H. Townes Lecture on Faith and Reason, “God and the Big Bang,” Daniel Matt (Former professor of Jewish Spirituality, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif.)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m., Daniel Chapel; “What American Jewish History Can Teach Us About the Jewish Future,” Eric Goldstein (Judith London Evans Director of the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, Emory University)
  • Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Patrick Lecture Hall, Plyler Science Building; Rabbi Roundtable, Panel discussion with Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform Rabbis in the Upstate.
  • Monday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., Daniel Chapel; “A Personal Story,” Mrs. Trude Heller (Local Holocaust educator. She will be introduced by Furman history professor Courtney Tollison.)
  • Monday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m., Daniel Chapel, Garden Room; Hanukkah Celebration,  Alana Wasserman (Campus Rabbi for Jewish Student Association)

More biographical information may be found here. A link to the World Religions Symposium flyer may be found here. For more information about the symposium, contact Maria Swearingen in the Office of the Chaplain at 864-294-2133, or

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