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About This Event


Encountering Religions Through Performance

Chanting the Qur’an, tending to deities, dancing to drums, singing spirituals: people experience their religions through many kinds of performance. Performance also provides ways to encounter others’ religions, often serving as an initial introduction to traditions from different communities and cultures. Urban settings include a multiplicity of religious “performances” and a breadth of religious practice. The 26th Joseph T. Taylor Symposium will explore Indianapolis’s religious diversity and provide attendees opportunities to witness and discuss religion’s performative aspects.

8:30 am – 8:55 am                 Registration         Campus Center Theater (lower level)

8:55 am – 9:00 am                 Welcome              Campus Center Theater (lower level)

William Blomquist, Dean; Professor of Political Science, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

9:00 am – 9:45 am                 Feeling the Spirit Campus Center Theater (lower level)

Gospel music has become an increasingly popular music genre and can be consumed in a number of different venues. Explore the performance and reception of gospel music in local African American Christian communities, specifically highlighting the role of gospel music and musically-inspired worship (communion with the divine) in the spiritual, social, and political lives of African American Christians.

Participants:            John Ray, Minister of Music, Light of the World Christian Church

                                Light of the World Gospel Ensemble

Moderator:              Joseph Tucker Edmonds, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Religious Studies,

                                IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI


9:45 am – 10:00 am               Break     

10:00 am – 10:45 am             Hearing Allah’s Presence

Campus Center Theater (lower level)

Chanting and listening to the Qur’an are central to many Muslims’ worship and daily living. Mohamad Saltagi memorized the entire Qur’an as a student. He discusses hearing its poetry and guidance reverberate throughout his life.

Participant:              Mohamad Saltagi, Student, IU School of Medicine

Moderator:              David M. Craig, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

10:45 am – 11:00 am             Break     

11:00 am – 11:45 am             Realization of Divinity  Campus Center Theater (lower level)

Every day in Indianapolis, Hindus perform puja, the “worship” of deities installed privately in their homes or publicly at Hindu temples, where many people attend the installation of deities in order to participate in the first darshana or “vision” of them. Our speakers will share their knowledge of the key performances around the installation of deities at the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana.

Participants:             Dr. Anil Bajpai, Board of Trustees, Hindu Temple of Central Indiana

                                Shivani Bajpai, Student, IUPUI

Moderator:              Andrea R. Jain, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI                

11:45 am – 12:00 pm            Break     

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm              Luncheon     Campus Center 450 (fourth floor)      

Seating is limited. Reservations are required.

Presentation of the Joseph T. Taylor Excellence in Diversity Awards

Charles R. Bantz, Chancellor, IUPUI; Executive Vice President, Indiana University;

Professor of Communication Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

Luncheon Performance and Discussion

Sancocho Music and Dance Collage

Sancocho is a musical group dedicated to researching and performing African-derived music and dance from Spanish-speaking cultures of the Caribbean. (The term “Sancocho” comes from the name of a stew in Latin America that combines meats, vegetables and spices to create a unique taste.) Sancocho uses various percussion instruments to underscore the strong African retentions found in the black diaspora. The term “edutainment” best describes the group in that the main audiences are children, universities, and public festivals. Iris Rosa and Anthony Artis founded the ensemble in 1995.

Discussion host: Kelly E. Hayes, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI      

The Joseph Taylor Symposium

Dr. Joseph T. Taylor served as a Professor of Sociology from 1965 to 1983 and as first Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI from 1967-1978. Dr. Taylor is remembered for his commitment to dialogue and diversity. The Joseph T. Taylor Symposium honors Dr. Taylor for his many contributions to the University and to the community by hosting informed discussion on issues of concern in urban America. The 26th Joseph T. Taylor Symposium is offered in celebration of all Dr. Taylor stood for during his lifetime and stands as a lasting legacy to his vision and life work.

Hosted by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI Office of Development and External Affairs and the Department of Religious Studies

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Event Schedule

Tue Feb 17 2015
08:30 AM – 02:00 PM
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