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Campus Holds ‘Conversation About Religion in California’

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Four Cal State Fullerton professors, representing different religious faith traditions, will share their insights during a free, public lecture, “Religious Complexities: A Conversation About Religion in California” at 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20. The program will take place on campus in Room 203 of the Pollak Library.

“In a post-San Bernardino Southern California, we want to help our students understand their own beliefs, as well as those of others. The goal is to encourage our students to draw deeper from their own faith traditions,” said Jason Sexton, lecturer in the honors program and visiting fellow from UC Riverside’s Center for Ideas and Society. Sexton is one of the organizers and a panel participant.

Other panelists include Scott Spitzer, associate professor of political science; Sawssan Ahmed, assistant professor of psychology; and Nawang Phuntsog, associate professor of elementary and bilingual education. Sexton is Christian, Spitzer is Jewish, Ahmed is Muslim and Phuntsog is Buddhist.

The panelists will be asked about the essence of what they believe, and audience members will be encouraged to pose questions that can be addressed by the panel.

“Universities have sometimes marginalized particular faith traditions, or reduced their internal conceptualities or worldview to the personal or, in some cases, nonsensical,” said Sexton. “Each of the participants on this panel has seen students of different faith traditions sometimes struggle to honestly reflect on their traditions. We will be open to discussion about misperceptions, and how to develop understanding, dialogue and friendship.”

This program is organized as part of Asian Pacific Islander month by the Office of Diversity Initiatives and Resource Centers, and is co-sponsored by the Pakistani Student Association, the Muslim Student Association, Hillel of Orange County, APARC and CSUF InterVarsity.

For more information, contact “Dear” Vimonsiri Aunaetitrakul, 657-278-3234.