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Benedictine Hosts Civil Rights Theologian at Symposium on Global Status of Women

March 11, 2021

Rosetta RossBenedictine University announces its fourteenth annual Faith and Reason Symposium: Friday, April 9, 2021. The theme for this year is “She Opens Her Mouth with Wisdom: The World of Women.” The day’s program includes a morning faculty panel (9-11 am), a midday keynote address (11:30-12:30), and an afternoon alumni panel (1-3 pm). The Symposium is free and open to the public. Students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University are encouraged to register for the virtual event at

Taking its name from Pope John Paul II’s historic encyclical Fides et Ratio, the interdisciplinary Symposium is designed to promote the dialogue between faith and intellectual investigation. Faculty presentations will be made by Sue Mikula, Rita George-Tvrtkovic, Tammy Sarver, Steven Burgess, and Peter Huff. Alumni panelists will include Ghazel Shafiei, Tiff Pua, Alex Rose, and Lisa Goldsberry.

Dr. Rosetta Ross, Professor of Religion at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Symposium. A pioneering womanist theologian and scholar of Black women’s activism in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Ross writes and teaches on Christian ethics, women’s social action, the meaning of Black religion, and the impact of religions in the lives of Africana women. She is the author of Witnessing and Testifying: Black Women, Religion, and Civil Rights (Fortress Press).

“This year’s Symposium brings together people from across our University community to analyze the current state of women globally,” says Dr. Vincent Gaddis, founder of the Symposium and chair of the Department of History, Philosophy, and Theology at Benedictine. “The speakers will recommend how faith and reason can cooperate in the quest to honor the accomplishments of women, understand women’s experiences, and deconstruct sexism in all spheres of culture.”

Benedictine’s annual Faith and Reason Symposium is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of History, Philosophy, and Theology, and the Office of University Mission. For more information, contact Kristien Nestoras at


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. Benedictine University was also named the second-safest campus in the country and safest campus in Illinois by in 2019. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information about the University, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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