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Professors and Poughkeepsie clergy members to discuss role of religion in U.S. politics, on October 25, 2012

Vassar professors of religion and political science will join three Poughkeepsie religious leaders for a panel discussion on the role of religion in American politics, on Thursday, October 25 at 7:00pm in the Villard Room of Main Building.  Co-sponsored by the local non-profit Gillespie Forum and the Vassar College Department of Political Science, this event is free and open to the public.

The panelists will include:

  • Jonathon Kahn, an Assistant Professor of Religion at Vassar. Kahn teaches in the areas of religion and modern philosophy; American pragmatism; religious naturalism; the emergence of secularism; theories of religion and nationalism; and race, religion and democratic theory. His research has focused on illuminating the place of religious moods and virtues in the writings of W. E. B. Du Bois.
  • Walter LeFlore, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie. LeFlore is a 2010 graduate of the Andover Newton Theological School and has served at All Souls Church in Washington, DC and at First Church in Boston, MA.
  • Neal Loevinger, rabbi of Temple Beth El in Poughkeepsie. Rabbi Loevinger’s scholarship focuses on theology and environmental ethics. He holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University as well as a degree from the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles.
  • Heather Moody, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Poughkeepsie. Reverend Moody has served United Church of Christ congregations in California, Massachusetts, and Iowa and has been an active member of her denomination’s national leadership board. Moody received her Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion.
  • Sidney Plotkin, a Professor of Political Science at Vassar.  Plotkin teaches courses on power, public policy, urban politics, and the politics of capitalism. His research and writing have centered on the U.S. national and sub-national political economy. His current scholarly interest centers on the political and social ideas of the early 20th century American radical thinker, Thorstein Veblen.

Moderating the panel will be Richard Reitano, a Professor Emeritus of Government at Dutchess Community College. Among his writings Reitano co-authored the books Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations Today and The New Dynamics of Multilateralism. Reitano also teaches the Model United Nations course offered jointly by Vassar and Dutchess Community College.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at http://www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, October 17, 2012