Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2004-10-21

Samford University will host a national research conference, Christianity and Human Rights, Nov. 11-14.
The four-day event will feature presentations by scholars in various disciplines, including religion, political science, history, sociology, psychology, law and religious studies.

Participants will explore the role of influential Christian groups, their sometimes clashing goals and interpretations of human rights, their relation to non-Christian human-rights groups, and their general ability to function in a world in which human rights are not universally respected.

Speakers include Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Georgetown University law professor, politician and activist; Jean Bethke Elshtain, University of Chicago professor of social and political ethics; John Witte, Jr., Emory University professor of law and ethics, and director, Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion; and James Waller, Whitworth College psychology professor.

Musician/actor Claudia Stephens will present "An Evening With Madame F." on Friday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. in Reid Chapel.

Panel discussion topics will include international and regional challenges, human rights in the United States, denominational and interfaith alliances, pedagogical and vocational challenges, Christian and secular collaboration, and human rights and proselytization. Topics also include local issues such as civil rights and tax reform. The program will conclude with a visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Sunday, Nov. 14.

The conference is funded by a grant from the Lilly Fellows Program, which sponsors forums for annual research and scholarship among faculty at network institutions such as Samford.

All lectures and panel discussions are open to the public free of charge. A $125 registration fee will cover three meals and other conference extras.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.