Brian Smith, students to present at religious studies conference

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Professor of Religion Brian Smith and three of his students will deliver paper presentations at the annual meeting of the Midwest American Academy of Religion (MAAR) April 11 and 12 at Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio. MAAR is the regional association of the national American Academy of Religion, the major professional association of scholars in religious studies in the country.

Alexander Baldschun ’15 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, will present his paper, “The New Orthodoxy: Constantine’s Christianity,” on the panel “History of Christianity I: The Development and Formation of Christianity in the Early Church.” Baldschun is a religion major with a self-designed major in classics and a minor in history.

Courtney Bloomer ’16 of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, will present her essay, “Syncretism in China,” on the “Religions in Asia II” panel. She is a chemistry-biology major with and a minor in religion.

Zachary Muench ’16 of Franklin, Wisconsin will present “Medical Ethics: The Integration of Theory and Practice in Contemporary Medical Education” on the panel “Ecology and Science in the Study of Religion II: Clearing the Air, Four Perspectives on the Science-Religion Interface.” He is majoring in religion and chemistry-biology.

Smith will present his paper “Storytelling in and Across Religions” on the panel “Literature and Sacred Texts in the Study of Religion II: Narrativity in the Study and Practice of Religion.”

Smith also is chair of the undergraduate section of MAAR and will chair two separate panels at the conference where undergraduates from various other Midwest colleges and universities will make presentations: “Undergraduate Students I: Gender and Religion” and “Undergraduate Students II: Mysticism, Therapy and Individual Identity.”