For the school year of 2013/14, the Honors Forum Lecture Series sponsored by the Maricopa Community College District was focused on the culture of competition. For the third installment of the series, Dr. Linell Cady stopped by Glendale Community College (GCC) in the spring to talk about religion and competition.
Cady is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and is a dean’s distinguished professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University. She is also the author of “Religion, Theology, and American Public Life,” in addition to many essays regarding issues of feminist theology and the interrelation of religion and secularism.
Cady’s opening thoughts were on the recent paradigm shift in how we view religion. She said that there is now a resurgence and politicization of religion. Politicians use religion as a scapegoat or to justify their cause, she went on to say.
Cady also said that separationists believe that the church must be apart form the state to keep religious freedom for the people; but, she made the point that the church suffers from being apart of the state.
She followed by saying that there had once been religious nationalism in the U.S. where serving the nation was said to be serving God; also that there are still many religious phrases in national symbols or practices. For example, God is mentioned in our national anthem and currency.
Her closing thoughts were on how we can move forward by being literate in religion, balancing competition, and cooperation, cultivating a relational vision for an interdependent world, and move past religious exclusivism and dogma.
Following the lecture was a ten-minute question session where people asked her about specific points she made that they didn’t quite understand; the questions asked showed that people were genuinely interested in what she was saying.
When asked what he thought about the lecture, first-year EMCC student Erick Plascencia said, “It was captivating. I learned that more of the youth is straying away from religion.”
For information on this year’s Honors Forum Lecture Series, please visit: