A three-member delegation - Benfield-Vick Chaplain the Rev. Kevin Starcher, Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Jeffrey Rutter, and student Erik Johnson - will represent Davis & Elkins College at a peacemaking conference Jan. 18-20 in Montreat, N.C.
The consultation on "New Approaches to Peacemaking and Nonviolence for the 21st Century" will bring together college chaplains, faculty members, and students from Presbyterian-related schools, as well as others engaged in action and reflection on peacemaking and justice seeking.
"The conference will allow our delegation from D&E the opportunity to be engaged in a serious faith-based issue with other concerned people from all over the United States," Starcher said. "We will hear from experts in the field of politics in the Middle East, and experts who can deepen our understanding of the socio-economic causes of violence. Furthermore, the event will allow our participants to think how we can engage the issue of peacemaking right here."
Among topics participants will explore are: "Jesus, the Early Church, and Nonviolence," "The Challenges of Terrorism and War," "The Challenges of Structural Violence and Oppression," "Nonviolent Approaches to Peacemaking," and "Teaching Peace in the 21st Century."
The keynote speaker will be Andrea Bartoli, director of the Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution at George Mason University. Other speakers will include South African theologian/activist Allan Boesak, Pakistani Christian Charles Amjad-Ali, Cris Tofollo of the U.S. Peace and Justice Studies Association, New Testament scholar Margaret Aymer Oget, singer/songwriter David LaMotte, West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran Paul K. Chappell, author Richard A. Horsley, and Tommy Ross, senior intelligence and defense advisor to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.
The event will close with a session entitled "Next Steps for Campus Peacemaking Ministries," which will be led by campus ministers and chaplains involved in responding to current wars, new forms of warfare, anti-torture campaigns, accompaniment and reconciliation programs. The consultation is part of the church-wide Peace Discernment process initiated by the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly (2010), and reaffirmed by the 220th General Assembly (2012).
For more information, please visit the D&E website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.