Religious Experience in Global Society

A dynamic group of experts in their field offered presentations and discussions on everything from the existence of God to religion’s impact on sports, movies, business, literature, music, and science. The Churchill Institute provided the opportunity to see how religion affects your ethics, your politics, and the way of life.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. J. Baird Callicott, Research Professor of Philosophy, University of North Texas (Denton, Texas). Dr. Callicott is an expert in Asian religions and has been at the forefront of the new field of environmental philosophy and ethics. He is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy and author of books such as In Defense of the Land Ethic and Earth’s Insights. Click here to see his speech.

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Douglas R. Geivett, Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, Talbot Department of Philosophy, Biola University. He is the author of Evil and the Evidence for God and co-editor of Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Epistemology and In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God’s Action in History. Dr. Geivett is the former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.Click here to see his speech.

Mr. Dan Barker, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (Madison, Wisconsin). Mr. Barker has been FFRF CoPresident since 2004 and he is the author of the autobiographical book, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists. He has a weekly radio program on the pros and positive contributions of a secular life and lifestyle that is broadcast worldwide. Click here to see his speech.

Dr. David Shaner, Herring Professor of Asian Studies and Philosophy at Furman University (Greenville, South Carolina.) He is CEO of CONNECT Consulting LLC. He has played a key role in the culture change and performance improvement at Nissan/Autecs Automotive; Slazenger Sporting Goods; Umbro; Atlanta Dairies/ Pet Foods; and Caesar’s Palace. He is the founding editor of the Philosophy and Biology Book Series (37 volumes) with the SUNY Press. Click here to see his speech

Dr. Eugenie Scott is a former university professor, is the Executive Director of National Center for Science Education (NCSE,) Oakland, California. She has been both a researcher and an activist in the creationism/evolution controversy for over 25 years and has addressed many components of this controversy, including educational, legal, scientific, religious, and social issues. Scott is the author of Evolution vs. Creationism and co-editor, with Glenn Branch, of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools. Click here to see her speech.

Beakout Session Speakers

Ms. Heather Thornton McRae has an MA in medieval history from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, a PhD candidate and instructor at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She has given several papers at academic conferences, including the International Congress on Medieval Studies and the Mid-America Medieval Association.

Dr. Paul Wallace, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Honors College, University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a specialist on South Asia and world-wide terrorism. He has authored and edited eight books and over forty articles. He gave presentations in India and Poland in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Dr. Arthur Mehrhoff, Academic Coordinator, Museum of Art & Archaeology, University of MissouriColumbia. Dr. Mehrhoff received his doctorate in American Culture Dr. Arthur Mehrhoff, Academic Coordinator, Museum of Art & Archaeology, University of MissouriColumbia. Dr. Mehrhoff received his doctorate in American Culture.

Dr. Dennis Kelly’s research is informed by ritual and performance theory, and the semiotics of religious myth and symbol. Some of his work includes “‘Our Ancestors Paddle With Us’: Chumash and Makah Canoe Culture” in the Journal Religious Studies and 7 Theology.

Dr. Linda Stratford, Assistant Professor of Art, Asbury University (Wilmore, Kentucky). Dr. Stratford (Ph.D., SUNY-Stony Brook) is a co-founder of the Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art (ASCHA) and has produced a number of publications and presentations that draw upon cross-disciplinary training in history and art history.

Dr. Juris Pupcenoks is an alumnus of Westminster College ’04. He is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Marist College. He has conducted field research in Muslim communities in London, England and Detroit, Michigan. His research has been published in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Middle East Journal, and other venues.

Rev. Sarah Hamilton, Senior Pastor of Rhodes Chapel United Methodist Church. Rev. Hamilton has served churches in Norwich, England and southern Missouri.

Dr. Michael P. Williams, Founding Pastor, The Genesis Church (Houston, Texas). He is a member of the Westminster College Board of Trustees. He has spoken throughout the United States and has been a civic leader in Houston, Texas for many years.

Dr. David Oughton, Associate Professor of the World’s Religions in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. He is a member of the education committee at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum. He has studied the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and in Germany and Poland. He is the co-author of Jewish-Christian Relations in Light of the Holocaust.

Dr. Farhat Haq, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, Monmouth College. She received four National Endowment for the Humanities’ summer seminar awards and she was the recipient of Burlington-Northern Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Fulbright Teaching/Research Scholarship.

Rev. Dave Cover, Senior Pastor of The Crossing, Columbia, Missouri. Pastor Cover planted The Crossing in the summer of 2000; it is now serves over 3000 people each Sunday.

Dr. Natasia Sexton Cain is Director of Choirs at Westminster College and Associate Professor of Music. She has been a clinician and adjudicator in Missouri, Indiana, Louisiana, and California, and conducted the Northeast Arkansas Women’s Honor Choir in 2001. She has published numerous recording and octavo reviews for The Choral Journal.

Ms. Emily Powell is the Elementary Director at The Crossing Church in Columbia, Missouri.