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Wickenden Lectures Feb. 17-18: Politics and history of religious freedom in the U.S.

Winnifred Sullivan, professor and chair of religious studies and affiliated professor of law, Indiana University- Bloomington, will present the Arthur C. Wickenden Lectures of the department of comparative religion Feb. 17-18.winnifred

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan will present the Arthur C. Wickenden Lectures Feb. 17-18.

Monday, Feb. 17

Sullivan will present "The World That Smith Made: Advocating for Religion in the U.S. Today" at 5:30 p.m. in room 100 of the art building.

This lecture will consider the legal and political effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Employment Division v. Smith. "Setting the decision in the context of U.S. First Amendment jurisprudence as well as the broader social landscape, Smith will be shown to mark a reorientation of the politics of religious freedom in the U.S."

Tuesday, Feb. 18

Sullivan will present "EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor: Constitutionalizing 'The Church'" at 4 p.m. in room 100 of the art building.

This lecture will consider "the reasons for the surprising endorsement of the rights of the church over the rights of individuals by the U.S. Supreme Court in its most recent religion case. EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor will be seen to reflect both a post-Smith politics and a new telling of the history of religious freedom."

Arthur C. Wickenden was the founding chair of what was then the department of religion. In 1970, the Rev. Walter Simmons and members of the Wickenden family established this free lecture series dedicated to bringing to the Miami University community and the broader public, lectures that commemorate Wickenden's life and "the study of religion in celebration of the human spirit."