September 2017 | Upcoming Events

The Fall 2017 issue of the CSRF Newsletter, " Understanding Religious Freedom," is available online.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan University at 757.455.3129 or

Government Support for Church Playgrounds: A Soft Landing or a Bad Swing?

Thursday, September 14 l 12 - 12:50 p.m.
Pearce Hospitality Suite, Batten Student Center

Dr. Timothy O'Rourke, Virginia Wesleyan Provost and Vice President, examines and discusses the Supreme Court's consideration of a Missouri case in which the state denied grant funding for playground resurfacing at a religiously-affiliated daycare center. This 2017 case--Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer--shares compelling similarities to the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education case, and raises important questions about the state, religion, and the challenging intersections of the two.
September 17 is recognized in the United States as Constitution & Citizenship Day
to commemorate the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.
Each September, Virginia Wesleyan University hosts an event so that students may
more deeply understand America's first freedom.
From Kennedy to Sharia: Religious vs. Secular Law in the U.S.

Monday, September 18 l 7-8:30 p.m.
Boyd Dining Hall

At different times in U.S. history, notions of "religious law" have resulted in intense discussions. For instance, controversy has surrounded "Sharia" much like it surrounded John Kennedy's religious convictions. Those controversies have led Americans into active discussion about the role of - and possible conflict between - religious and secular laws in the United States. How are we to understand the similarities and differences between those two kinds of laws?
Panelists: Dr. M'hammed Abdous , Muslim Community of Tidewater; Father James P. Curran, Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception; Teresa Stanley, Church of the Holy Apostle and Interspiritual Empowerment Project; and Amy Tschai, Hampton Roads Muslim Community.
In a time when we are faced with significant cultural and political divides in our country, this fall the Nexus Interfaith Dialogue series focuses on creating dialogue among people from different identities about the moral and spiritual values that bind us together as a diverse nation. Support for the series is provided by the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and the Fetzer Institute.
The Nexus Interfaith Dialogue series is sponsored in partnership with the
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
Center for the Study of Religious Freedom

Dr. Craig Wansink, Professor of Religious Studies and the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom

Kelly Jackson, Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom

Dr.  Eric Mazur, Gloria and David Furman Professor of Judaic Studies and Center for the Study of Religious Freedom Fellow for Religion, Law, and Politics

757.455.3129 | |