July 2013: Jeff Satterwhite: Does Religion Cause Violence?

Does Religion Cause Violence?

This intriguing question continues to be hotly debated in the secular community, academia, and society as a whole. In his 2002 book, When Religion Becomes Evil, religious historian Charles Kimball states: "It is somewhat trite, but nevertheless sadly true, to say that more wars have been waged, more people killed, and these days more evil perpetrated in the name of religion than by any other institutional force in human history." (p. 1) Is Kimball correct? Or does he overstate the influence of religion on violent acts? Is there a real connection between them? These questions evoke strong perspectives and emotions.

Jeff Satterwhite, PhD candidate in Religious Studies (ABD) and former minister, brings a unique point of view in his presentation on the complex relationship between religion and violence. In this talk, Jeff will examine the importance of how beliefs, practices, sacred symbols, and collective identity fit together, focusing particularly on how our definitions of concepts deeply affect our worldviews about these ideas.

Jeff Satterwhite is a founding member of The Clergy Project and served as an adult education minister in Baptist churches in Texas and Colorado until 2008, when he deconverted from Christianity. Jeff is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Doctoral Program in Religious and Theological Studies (ABD) at the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology. He is currently writing a dissertation on the Evangelical Right and their political views on same-sex marriage and abortion. Jeff has been published in the Humanist Network News, has been featured on The Sex, Politics, and Religion Hour radio broadcast with Jamila Bey on Voice of Russia radio (American edition), and has been a guest speaker for multiple secular groups in Colorado and Texas. He also serves as the chair of the Safe and Secular Schools Task Force of the Secular Hub, opposing the Good News Club's efforts in the Denver area.


Venue Instructions: Parking is available on the side of the building, on the street, in the lot across the alley, and in the lot across 31st street. Please do not park directly behind the building, under the stairway to the upstairs apartments.

Potluck dinner at 6 pm. Program at 7 pm. Potluck instructions are based upon the first letter of the last name. Please do not bring drinks for the potluck. Drinks will be available as concessions, so bring a few extra dollars for some soda or coffee.

A-B) Main Dish
C-D) Side Dish or Salad
E-J) Side Dish, Bread or Chips
K-R) Dessert
S-Z) Main Dish

After hours: 9:00 - ? We will walk across the street to a bar/restaurant, "Eden", to discuss the evening's program.

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  • Jeanette M. N.

    Jeff did a great job, and clarified some divisions between different points of view.

    July 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good, a very interesting presentation and discussion.

    July 14, 2013

  • Katie

    Sorry I missed this. I'd like to try to make one of these meetups.

    July 14, 2013

  • Barbara

    I'm sorry to miss this! Richard has a couple of hours left in the Triple Bypass (the bike ride, not the medical procedure) and we won't make it back to Denver in time for this talk.

    July 14, 2013

  • Steve

    Anyone want to carpool from Boulder?

    July 14, 2013

  • Jeff B

    Will attempt to get there in time for talk, after attending the rebels gathering BBQ.

    July 14, 2013

  • Jill

    Not sure if I can make it but will try. Great topic/speaker!

    July 13, 2013

  • greg b.

    Will be an interesting discussion but I will not be able to attend. To me religion does not cause violence so much as it provides an excuse to perform violent acts.

    July 1, 2013

  • Matthew J. W.

    Grr. I got a bit too busy.

    June 30, 2013

  • Rev. R.

    I wish I could come! I've heard Jeff speak before!

    June 28, 2013

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