Fall Academy of Religion Opens 51st Year at The College of Wooster

Lecture series to study “Indigenous/Native American Religion and Spirituality: An Alternative Paradigm”

WOOSTER, Ohio — The annual Fall Academy of Religion at The College of Wooster will open 51 years of discussions with this year’s topic “Indigenous/Native American Religion and Spirituality: An Alternative Paradigm,” every Wednesday night starting, Sept. 11 and running through Oct. 16. The lecture series, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.) from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Humans have always lived in the midst of mystery, wondering how creation came into being, what our origins are as a species and as individuals, what is our destiny, and how should we live in this mystery. According to Charles Kammer, the James F. Lincoln Professor of Religious Studies and dean of the Academy of Religion at Wooster, “in this series, from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, we will explore the Indigenous traditions of primarily North American native peoples as part of a search for a more viable paradigm, for better answers to our perennial human questions.”

The series begins on Sept. 11 when Larry Shirer, presents “Spirituality in Native American Ceremonies.” The following week (Sept. 18), Nick Kardulias, the Marian Senter Nixon Professor of Classical Civilization at Wooster, will discuss “Ritual Activity among Prehistoric People in the Midwest: An Archaeological View.”

On Sept. 25, the topic will be “Religion and Religions in Native America,” featuring Jeremy Rapport, associate professor of religious studies at Wooster. Dale Seeds, emeritus professor of theatre and dance at Wooster, will speak at the fourth lecture on Oct. 2, addressing “Spirits in the Mask: An Exploration of the Spiritual Beliefs of Alaskan Native Peoples as Seen Through the Eyes of Their Masked Performance Traditions.”

One week later on Oct. 9, the topic will be “Life Lessons from Native American Spirituality,” also presented by Larry Shirer. The series will then conclude on Oct. 16, by welcoming Walter Robinson, professor of Native American and Indigenous studies at Indiana University, who will present “Indigenous Spiritualty and the Genesis of Religion.”

Additional information is available by phone (330-263-2473) or email (ckammer@wooster.edu).