Religion & Philosophy News

Posted: 5/23/2013
"Robbins' book discussed at Union Theological Seminary"

Jeff Robbins’ co-authored book, Religion, Politics and the Earth: The New Materialism (2012) was the subject of a public discussion with Mark Lewis Taylor (Princeton) and Cornel West held at Union Theological School / Columbia University on February 11, 2013. The event was entitled “Becoming a Brain: The New Materialism and the Challenge of Liberation.” Video for the entire event is available on Youtube: Part 1 Part 2

Posted: 5/1/2013
"Op-ed by Matthew Sayers featured in The Patriot-News"

The Patriot-News has published an op-ed by Matthew Sayers about the National Day of Prayer. The piece is available online here.

Posted: 4/26/2013
"Jeff Robbins featured on a Blogtour hosted by Homebrewed Christianity"

A blogtour of Jeff Robbins’ co-authored book, Religion, Politics and the Earth: The New Materialism (2012) hosted and coordinated by Homebrewed Christianity is available here.

Posted: 4/26/2013
"Jeff Robbins holds a series of workshops at the University of Michigan and speaks at Drury Univeristy"

Jeff Robbins gave a series of lectures and led a series of workshops at the University of Michigan on April 4-5. He was there at the invitation of the Michigan Sikh Studies Forum and the Deleuze Interest Group. His two lectures were part of the university’s “Understanding Race Project.” The titles for his talks were “The Anonymous Sovereign: Theo-Political Reflections on Race and Politics in the United States” and “Louis Armstrong: A Rhapsody on Race, Repetition and Time.”

Following his trip to Ann Arbor, Robbins was a featured speaker at the Subverting The Norm Conference held at Drury University in Springfield, IL. Robbins and Clayton Crockett (University of Central Arkansas) were invited to speak on their co-authored book, Religion, Politics and the Earth: The New Materialism in a session entitled, “On Theological Materialism: Energy for the Church.”

Posted: 4/26/2013

"Bob Valgenti speaks at a conference in Italy"
On April 4, 2013, Bob Valgenti was an invited speaker for a conference entitled "Food, Philosophy and Art--Convergence Pollenzo", held at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. The conference brought together philosophers, chefs, journalists and artists to talk about the intersection of food, aesthetics and philosophy. Bob's talk, entitled 'Cooking as Interpretation,' introduced the idea that cooking is never simply the application of technique, but an encounter that demands both risk and responsibility from the cook as the nature of our connections to food, environment, providers and consumers multiply in a globalized world. View the conference website here. See video of his talk here.

 Posted: 4/11/2013

"Matt Sayers participates in a panel on secular government"

On September 29th 2012 Matt Sayers joined a panel of religious people and non-believers discussing the role of both groups in the enactment of a secular government. Video of the entire conference was posted just recently. Check out Sayers' hour long panel session here.

Posted: 3/24/2013

"LVC students present at the North American Undergraduate Conference on Religion and Philosophy"
Jeff Robbins, Matt Sayers, and Noelle Vahanian (with an appearance by Diane Johnson) accompanied seven LVC students who attended and presented at the North American Undergraduate Conference in Religion and Philosophy held at St. Francis University on March 22-23rd.
Two LVC students took prizes for most outstanding papers of the conference: Dylan Matusek (1st place) and Ashley Ferrari (3rd place). They were competing from students from as far away as BYU, and also included students from Rutgers, SUNY Buffalo, Emmanuel, and Iona College.
Both of the winning students presented their research from the Symposium on Catherine Malabou. Marquis Bey, Devan Glenny, Haisam Hassanein, Daniel Kimmel, and Halley Washburn also presented their work.


Posted: 1/17/2013
"“Evil” class was profiled in two “Cool Classes” stories online"
EVIL, a Disciplinary Perspectives class taught by Matthew Sayers was was featured in an article about "Cool Classes" on the College Xpress website, a portal for information about scholarships and other college related issues. To read the piece click here. Sayer's class also merited mention in a story entitled "Schools Innovative on Course Titles" by Scott Willyerd on the Huffington Post blog. Check out that story here.


Posted: 12/21/2012
"Sayers interviewed for Fox43 piece on The End of the World."
December 20th Matthew Sayers was interviewed by Fox43 reporter Amber Miller about the reports of the impending end of the world. Popular rumors suppose that the Mayan calendar, which ends on December 21st, 2012, portends the end of the world. Miller speaks with Sayers and others about the implications on the eve of the big day.To watch the news story online click here. To view video of the TV show, click here


Posted: 9/4/2012
"Sustained Interfaith Dialogue"
In cooperation with Chaplain Paul Fullmer and Director of Mulitcultural Affairs Venus Ricks Matthew Sayers has organized an interfaith dialogue to be held on campus throughout the school year. Members of diverse religious communities from the area will discuss the relationship of their religion and their personal experience to themes such as gender, sexual orientation, and politics. See the WITF story here and the LVC News story here.


Posted: 5/7/2012
"Edited volume by Sayers published"
An edited volume on the Buddhist site of Bodhgaya, edited by Matthew Sayers and two of his colleagues has just been published. The book contains essays from various moments in the life of Bodhgaya, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, including one by Matt that discusses why the Buddha chose to go to Bodhgaya to strive after enlightenment. <i>Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on a Contested Buddhist Site: Bodh Gaya Jataka</i> is available from Routledge Press, the product page here.


Posted: 4/24/2012
"Valgenti appears on WITF's "Smart Talk TV"."
On April 5 Bob Valgenti was a panelist on WITF’s “Smart Talk TV.” The show was dedicated to the question “Where does our food come from?” and featured three other panelists (2 farmers and a meat packer) along with host Nell McCormack Abom. The panel fielded questions on ‘pink slime’, GMOs, organic agriculture, and food distribution.To read the news story about the show click here. To view video of the TV show, click here


Posted: 3/26/2012
"Robbins quoted in Recent Newspaper articles."

Jeff Robbins has been quoted in several recent newspaper stories on religion and philosophy. You can see his comments about the so-called “Muhammad Zombie” case in Mechanicsburg on here. You can see his comments about the Evangelical leaders’ endorsement of the presidential candidacy of Rick Santorum here. And you can see his comments about the value of the study of philosophy made to the Honors Program at Harrsiburg Area Community College's Lecture Sereis here.

Posted: 3/26/2012
"Sayers gives invited talk at University of Pennsylvania."

Matthew Sayers Matthew Sayers was invited to speak to the Department of South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His talk, entitled “Feeding the Dead at Gaya: From the Buddha’s Enlightenment to a Modern Pilgrimage” was presented as a part of the Department’s South Asia Spring Colloquium Series. .

Posted: 3/23/2012
"Robbins invited to speak on Post-Secularism."

Jeff Robbins was invited to give a lecture on "What is Post-Secularism? Rethinking the Relationship Between Religion and Politics" as a part of the HACC Honors Program Lecture Series on March 20th in Harrisburg, PA. Information about the lecture series can be found here.

Posted: 3/19/2012
"Vahanian presents at Yerevan State University in Yerevan, Armenia."

Noelle Vahanian recently addressed the Yerevan State University Faculty of Philosophy in Yerevan, Armenia, in a roundtable discussion on her current sabbatical research project in which she aims to develop a critical approach to identity and identity formation from the case-study of the Armenians. The talk was given at the invitation of Dr. Andranik Stepanyan of the American University for Humanities, who also served as translator. The meeting was hosted by Professor Dr. Zakaryan (Head of History and Philosophy department) and Professor Dr. Mirzoyan.

Posted: 1/5/2012
"Robbins interviewed about book."
Alan Jay Richard of Realistic Living, a nonprofit organization seeking to foster new forms of communal religious practice interviewed Jeff Robbins about his book, Radical Democracy and Political Theology, for There is Power in the Blog, the blog for Political Theology for Equinox Press. Read the interview here.


Posted: 10/28/2011
"Hubler presents at a conference"
On October 22, Noel Hubler presented a paper entitled, "Cognition as Psychic Motion in Plato's Late Dialogues" at the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy at Fordham in New York, NY. The greatest difficulty in understanding Plato's analysis of cognition as psychic motion is the ambiguity of the Greek term kinesis, which can either indicate active or passive movement. The soul's movements are not passive, rather they are "self-generated." Hence the soul moves not in the sense of locomotion, but as the active mover of the body.

Posted: 10/28/2011
"Sayers presents his research at the Annual Conference on South Asia"
Matthew Sayers presented on his research into the Hindu pilgrimage place, Gaya, at The Annual Conference on South Asia held at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, on October 23rd. His presentation, entitled “The Development of Gaya as a Pilgrimage Site: From Stray Reference to Mahatmya,” outlined the textual efforts to construct Gaya as a pilgrimage place in the Hindu imagination in the early centuries of the Common Era.

Posted: 7/14/2011
"Robbins' Book spotlighted in The Montreal Review of Art, Politics, and Culture"
Dr. Robbins’ most recent book, Radical Democracy and Political Theology, is spotlighted in the August 2011 issue of The Montreal Review of Art, Politics, and Culture at. Read the article here.

Posted: 6/27/2011
"Sayers Presentation at Patna University features in The Times of India"
Matthew Sayers was invited to present a paper at Patna University in Patna, India, during his visit to the region to do research on pilgrimage to nearby Gaya. Both Dr. Sayers and his colleague Dr. Abhishek Singh of Hamilton college were invited by the college to speak about their research on the dual pilgrimage cities of Gaya and Bodhgaya. The paper presentations received newspaper coverage in The Times of India. Read the article here.

Posted: 6/2/2011
"Death, Dying, and Beyond Resouce Page"
Students in Matthew Sayers' "Death, Dying, and Beyond" class collaborated to create a website that will be an online resource for people interested in learning about how people deal with death. Visit the website here.

Posted: 5/18/2011
"Religion and Philosophy students attend Postmodernism, Religion and Culture Conference"
Rhiannon Eckinger ’12, a double major in religion and philosophy, and Rachel Leer ’11, a double major in psychology and philosophy, accompanied Noëlle Vahanian to the Postmodernism, Religion and Culture conference at Syracuse University in early April. Read the full article on the Valley news page here.

Posted: 1/24/2011
"Robbins' opinion piece appears in the Patriot-News"
The Patriot-News for January 22 features an Op-Ed by Religion Professor Jeff Robbins. In the piece Dr. Robbins addresses the current situation in Tunisia. To view the Op-Ed, , click here.

Posted: 1/12/2011
"Religion & Philosophy Alumnus Publishes on Fulbright Work"
Carissa Devine ('09 Religion and Philosophy) has published an article in New Race. The article includes insights gained during her time studying the experiences of the youth who live at Auroville, a utopian community in south India created to "experiment with the possibility of human unity" as imagined by Sri Aurobindo, a Hindu saint who lived in the end of the 19th and into the early 20th century. To read the article, click here.

Posted: 1/5/2011
Dr. Noel Hubler has recently published two articles. His article “Aristotle on the Uses of the Political Sense of Friendship,” appeared in the Spring 2010 edition of the International Journal of Decision Ethics. After an analysis of Aristotle's text, Noel suggests ways Aristotle's theory of political friendship could be useful for contemporary political theory.

Noel also published "Moderatus, E. R. Dodds, and the Development of Neoplatonist Emanation," in Plato's Parmenides and its Heritage, Volume 1: History and Interpretation from the Old Academy to Later Platonism and Gnosticism, (Society of Biblical Literature, 2010). He argues argue contrary to Dodds well-established argument that Moderatus did not anticipate Plotinus' system of emanation.

"Conference Presentations"

At the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies, Madrid, June 2010, Dr. Noel Hubler presented "Plotinus on Cognition: Aristotle and the Stoics in the service of Plato," a study of the influence of Aristotle's theory of truth and the Stoic theory of sense perception upon Plotinus' theory of cognition.

Noel also presented a paper entitled "Aristotle and the Identity of Truth,"at the annual meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy in New York, NY, October 2010. In it, he offered a new, more comprehensive interpretation of Aristotle's theory of truth.

Posted: 12/13/2010
"Religion and Politics"
A Valley News feature reviews the recent publication of Dr. Jeff Robbins. Radical Democracy and Political Theology is Robbins' third book and engages the relationship between politics and religion. To read the article, click here.

Posted: 12/6/2010
"Studying Religion at LVC"
The academic study of religion here at LVC was featured in an article posted on La Vie Online this week. To read the article, click here.

Posted: 3/26/2009
The visit of the monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery to LVC was featured in an article on the website of the Lebanon Daily News. To read the article, click here.

Posted: 11/3/2009
The Visit of the Tibetan Monks was featured in the Lebanon Daily News online as well. A video piece featuring chanting, commentary by both Dr. Sayers and the Geshe, as well as clips of the mandala creation are shown. View the video here.

Junior Mike Ardoline, a Philosophy/Physics double major, recently presented a paper at West Chester University's 4th Annual Philosophy Conference: Faith Reason and the Between. His paper, "Calculus, Generative Metaphysics and the Nothing," addressed the philosophical underlying of Calculus, specifically dealing with the concepts of relational definitions and mathematical representation. From these features, the philosophical power of Calculus is used to address the problems of ancient Greek paradoxes, the problem of the Nothing, physical misconceptions and the basis for a system of metaphysics. This paper is the starting point for future work in the areas of mathematics, the Nothing, relational definitions, philosophy of science and generative metaphysics.

Posted: 3/26/2009
Jeff Robbins will be presenting a paper entitled "God is Green, or a Theology of Indulgence" at the Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Theology and Energy held at the University of Central Arkansas on February 20-21. Information about the colloquium can be found here.

Posted: 3/26/2009
Jeff Robbinsh as been invited by Professor John Burkey of Siena College to serve as the "external scholar" for the Siena Symposium on Living Philosophers during the 2009-2010 academic year. The seminar will be devoted to the work of John D. Caputo (website). Among the unique features of the Siena Symposium on Living Philosophers is the intention to emphasize collaborative learning and extend the traditional learning community. Approximately 15 students enroll in a yearlong 4-credit seminar.

The students work throughout the year with of a team of Siena faculty and the "external scholar" selected for his/her special expertise in the field. The external scholar visits the campus roughly twice per semester. As the year progresses students read, research, discuss, and write in preparation for a final paper. The goal is to bring them to a level where they can converse with the featured philosopher. In April the featured philosopher visits campus a second time for a public panel discussion with students as well as a second address to the community at large.

Jeff Robbins has been invited to give a public lecture at The Tunisian Association of Constitutional Law (website) for an international conference being held on "Law, Power, and Religion." The conference will be held in March 2009. Dr. Robbins will be speaking on "The Role of Religion in American Political Discourse."

Posted: 3/26/2009
In October Noel Hubler presented a paper entitled "Identity and difference: Aristotle's analogous notions of truth" at the Annual Conference of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy held at Fordham Unviersity

Posted: 3/26/2009
On October 16-18th, Professors Jeff Robbins and Robert Valgenti led a group of students to the annual meeting of SPEP -- the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. The annual meeting, which is the largest meeting of for Continental philosophy, will be held at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Robbins will be giving a talk entitled "Alain Badiou and the Secular Reactivation of Theology" as part of a panel on the work of Badiou, while Pr. Valgenti will be moderating a panel discussion on "Nietzsche and Religiosity."

Posted: 3/26/2009
On Wednesday October 8th at 8:00 pm Jonathan Terry presented a paper on Black Liberation Theology at the Chambersburg Torch Club. The Club requested the topic in response to the flack over Obama's former pastor's embrace of the theology. Dr. Terry will be giving the basics of Liberation Theology and making reference to James Cone's work to give an idea of where Wright was coming from.

Posted: 3/26/2009
This September, Noel Hubler's article "Locating the Cosmos in the Divine and the Body in the Soul: A Plotinian solution to two of the great dualisms of Modern Philosophy," appeared in International Philosophical Quarterly.

Posted: 3/26/2009
On September 26th, Dr. Robert Valgenti presented his research at the annual meeting of the North American Society for Philosophical Hermeneutics, which met in Chicago at DePaul University. His paper, entitled "The Forgotten Lineage of Hermeneutics: Critique, Deduction and Principle Formation", explored the ways that a valid theory of interpretation can provide more than simply relativistic foundations for its claims to truth. Dr. Valgenti was one of eight presenters at the conference and he hopes that this work will form the beginning of his next major research project, which will explore the foundations for interpretation in thinkers like Vico, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Gadamer.

Posted: 3/26/2009
On September 17th, Christopher Rodkey, Lecturer in Religion, successfully defended his dissertation, "In the Horizon of the Infinite: Paul Tillich and the Dialectic of the Sacred." He will be awarded his Doctorate from Drew University this October. In the process of finishing his dissertation, Professor Rodkey produced an intellectual biogrpahy, which describes the intellectual journey that brought him to work on the subject of his dissertation, Paul Tillich. This Intellectual Biogrpahy can be found on the Religion & Philosophy Department's Student and Faculty Spotlight page.

Posted: 3/26/2009
Matthew Sayers traveled to Maryville College in Maryville, TN September 11-14th where he presented at the Conference on the Study of Religions of India. The conference was dedicated to Selva Raj, a widely respected scholar of Christianity in India, who unexpectedly died earlier this year, and entitled Confounding and Contesting Religious and Cultural Boundaries. Dr. Sayers' paper was entitled entitled "Brahmanical and Buddhist Contestation over the Householder Ideal" and highlighted the broader shared cultural religious practices of both Hindus and Buddhists in the few centuries immediately before and after the time of Christ.

Posted: 3/26/2009
We are happy to introduce Dr. Matthew Sayers who has been hired as Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion. Dr. Sayers comes to us from Austin, Texas where he recently completed his dissertation "Feeding the Ancestors: Ancestor Worship in Ancient Hinduism and Buddhism" at The University of Texas at Austin. His area of specialization is the religions of ancient India as revealed in the Sanskrit texts of the Brahmins and their interlocutors. He is most interested in engaging the debate over the nature of the relationship of Hinduism and Buddhism in the last few centuries of the Common Era.

He plans to develop the work of his dissertation into a book on the ritual of shraddha the ancestral rite shared by the religions of ancient India and expand his study of ancestor worship to the later periods of Indian religious history.

His teaching interests include the introduction to religion, comparative religion, death and dying, the problem of evil, comparative myth, and the various religious traditions of India specifically and Asia more broadly. During the fall 2008 semester he will be teaching REL 110 (Introduction to Religion), REL 140 (Encountering World Religions), and REL 252 (Indian Religions and Philosophies).

He is a self-described serial hobbiest, but through the years baking and reading science fiction have been a constant. Joining him in the move from Austin are his wife Margery and seven-year old son Ze'ev.