Last ‘Science & Religion in Conversation’ to be Held Tuesday, May 3rd, 3:00 pm

issrlogoThe Barton College final public forum ‘Science and Religion in Conversation’ will be held on Tuesday afternoon, May 3rd at 3 PM in Barton College’s Hackney Library.  Our discussion this month highlights The Sacred Depths of Nature by Ursula Goodenough.

Though biology at times may seem in conflict with religion, yet the hand of God as envisioned in religion may nowhere seem more spectacular than in Life which may leave one gasping in wonder. This book can awaken the reader to that experience.

After briefly reviewing the earth’s origin, The Sacred Depths of Nature by Ursula Goodenough guides us through an orchard of results and reflections.  Goodenough articulates her covenant with Mystery. She uses pithy phrases like “Life has no choice but to evolve”.   She reminds us of “…all this complexity and awareness and intent and beauty and … ability to apprehend it,” and that “we are all… creatures who are alive today, equally old, or equally recent “.

The author writes; “death is the price paid to have trees and clams and birds and grasshoppers, and death is the price to have human consciousness, to be aware of all that shimmering awareness and all that love”.  Her language is simple and clear, her prose is lucid, at times poetic. There are short quotes from thinkers and scriptures at the close of many chapters.  She quotes from the Psalms and Walt Whitman as well as lesser known authors.  Goodenough admits her inability to resonate with some traditional beliefs, yet she shows how one can respond religiously to the facts of rigorous science.

One can undergo deep religious experience, even when anchored to science.  Traditional religions stress personal conduct in relation to others.  Many of them express reverence for the powers and principles of Nature. In the face of the technological assault on the environment, there is a crying need for a planetary ethic.  Goodenough states that her agenda “for this book is to outline the foundations for such a planetary ethic, an ethic that would make no claim to supplant existing traditions but would seek to coexist with them, informing our global concerns”.  This can be effectively done with the help of the deep understanding that science offers, and the reverential humility toward the natural world that wisdom fosters.

Our monthly meetings have aimed to facilitate the ongoing dialogue between the disciplines of science and religion, one of the most important current areas of debate in terms of understanding the nature of humanity.  You may come to just listen or to freely participate in our conversation.

Please join our gathering for the final forum ‘Science and Religion in Conversation’ to be held on Tuesday afternoon, May 3rd at 3 PM.

 

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Hackney Library Hosts Historical Display

Historical plaque

This panel is the first of twelve in the series of historical panels detailing the history of Atlantic Christian/Barton College, which are now on display in Hackney Library’s Art Gallery area.

In celebration of Dr. Douglas Searcy’s recent inauguration as the twelfth president of Barton College, Hackney Library is hosting a display of twelve historical panels documenting the College’s story from the institution’s beginnings to 2015.  Shannon Wilson, College Archivist, researched and wrote the text for the exhibit while Keith Tew and Harriet Barnes in Publications designed the panels themselves.

The exhibit tells the story of Barton College using documents and photographs from the College Archives, currently housed in Harper Hall.  Dr. Norval Kneten, Barton’s 11th President, wanted an historical display for the third floor of Harper Hall to complement the portraits of the College’s Presidents and to attract the attention of prospective students and their families, as well as friends and visitors to the College.

While the panels are arranged by presidential administration, Dr. Kneten insisted that the panels not be about executive administrators but about topics of interest to students.  Consequently, each panel features a summary of activities and accomplishments in a given administration while photographs, letters, promotional literature and other archival materials describe notable events from each era.  “The idea for this exhibit came about shortly after my arrival on campus,” Wilson noted, “and provided a wonderful opportunity to become better acquainted not only with materials that had been organized by my predecesors, Hugh Johnston and Ed Holloway, but the over 250 cubic feet of unarranged materials that comprise the College Archives at the present time.”

The historical panels are currently on display in the Art Gallery area of Hackney Library and will remain throughout the rest of the Spring semester and into the Summer term.

Drop by and take a look!

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Carolina Discipliana Collection Receives Hillyer Memorial Centennial History

Joe Harris (left) presents archivist Shannon Wilson a copy of "Hillyer Memorial Christian Church: One Hundred Years, 1915-2015."

Joe Harris (left) presents archivist Shannon Wilson with a copy of “Hillyer Memorial Christian Church: One Hundred Years, 1915-2015.”

It began with a question.

“We are celebrating Hillyer Memorial Christian Church on its centennial,” said Joe Harris in the first of several phone calls and emails, “and I am looking for information on Raleigh Topping, who attended Atlantic Christian College and founded our congregation.  Do you have anything?”

The call came in on February 9th, 2015.  “We’re having a recognition of Topping and our church’s centennial on February 22, 2015,” Joe continued, “so anything you can get to me before then would be much appreciated.”

Fortunately, previous Barton College archivists had preserved a small but valuable set of materials, including copies of several letters that Topping had written while he was a student in Wilson.  Copies were made and duly sent to Joe Harris in time for the celebrations at Hillyer.

Written by J. Michael Wenger (son of College President Arthur Wenger) and Dr. Alvin M. Fountain, II and designed by Theresa Scott, Hillyer Memorial documents the many personalities and events that mark the life, work and ministry of this important Disciples congregation.

Joe Harris (left) and archivist Shannon Wilson peruse “Hillyer Memorial,” which documents the many personalities and events that mark the life, work and ministry of this important Disciples congregation.

Now in recent weeks, Joe and his wife, Helen, visited the campus to renew acquaintance with their alma mater and to present a copy of Hillyer Memorial Christian Church: One Hundred Years, 1915-2015 to the Carolina Discipliana Collection. Written by J. Michael Wenger (son of College President Arthur Wenger) and Dr. Alvin M. Fountain, II and designed by Barton College senior Theresa Scott (who has been accepted into NC State’s Graphic Design master’s program), Hillyer Memorial documents the many personalities and events that mark the life, work and ministry of this important Disciples congregation. 

Raleigh Topping was among that small group of “anxious” Christians meeting to organize a new congregation in the downtown Raleigh Police Courtroom on February 28, 1915.  Doubtless, Topping and his fledgling congregation were filled with questions as to what work God might call them to do.  This volume explores not only the early days but brings the congregation’s history all the way to the Centennial celebrations of 2015.

Hillyer Memorial Christian Church: One Hundred Years, 1915-2015 will soon take its place on the shelves of a newly reconstituted Carolina Discipliana Collection.  Carefully organized and preserved by Charles Crossfield Ware, Kitty Gaylord and Walter Anderson, and now tended by College archivist Shannon Wilson, the collection for several years has been in storage in Harper Hall but is currently being prepared for relocation to the Hackney Library.  Once this task is completed, students, researchers and visitors will once again have access to one of the more important collections of books, pamphlets, journals, church records, and photographs documenting Disciples in the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia.

Many more stories await discovery in these collections, waiting only for a question.

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‘Science and Religion in Conversation’ Forum Takes Place Tuesday, April 5, 3 pm

ISSR LogoThe Barton College monthly public forum ‘Science and Religion in Conversation’ will be held again on Tuesday afternoon, April 5th at 3 PM in the Barton College’s Hackney Library.  Our discussion this month highlights The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet by Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan.

This is an extraordinary book in which Ricard, an ordained Buddhist monk, and Thuan, who is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Virginia, conduct several extended dialogues.  Ricard, after completing his Doctoral research in genetics, decided to pursue Buddhism instead of science.  He is the Dalai Lama’s French translator.  Thuan, born in Vietnam in a Buddhist family, has focused his research on the evolution of galaxies and the chemical composition of the universe.  He was a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR).

Ricard and Thuan conduct a series of fifteen dialogues, which are edited and presented so as to be both lay readable and engaging and lead to a wealth of information and insights from the birth of the universe to questions of time, to appropriate action in our world.  Each brings to the table their own rich traditions of seeking the truth, both in Buddhism and modern science.

The real issue at the heart of the dialogues is what Buddhism and modern science have to offer to one another.  In this forum we will discuss three of their dialogues: ‘The Universe in a Grain of Sand’, ‘Each to His Own Reality’ (really?), and ‘The Grammar of the Universe.

Buddhism, essentially, is a path to enlightenment, not a set of dogmas or beliefs.  Its purpose is to end suffering through right knowledge, mostly about states of mind, craving and aversion, and the freedom from both of these which leads to liberation.  Science, on the other hand, is not concerned primarily with existential questions or with what constitutes right living.  Its purpose is to understand and describe phenomenal reality as accurately as possible.  What the dialogues show is that the two traditions do share a commitment to truth and to logical criteria of verifiability.  However other than that, their paths and goals are very different.  Yet, can they complement each other?  Attend and see.

Our monthly meeting aims to facilitate the ongoing dialogue between the disciplines of science and religion, one of the most important current areas of debate in terms of understanding the nature of humanity.  You may come to just listen or to freely participate in our conversation.

Please join our gathering for the forum ‘Science and Religion in Conversation’ to be held on Tuesday afternoon, April 5th at 3 PM in the Hackney Library classroom.

 

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March 1: “Science and Religion in Conversation” Forum Addresses James’s “The Varieties of Religious Experience”

ISSR LogoThe Barton College monthly public forum ‘Science and Religion in Conversation’ will be held again on Tuesday afternoon, March 1st at 3 PM in Barton College’s  Hackney Library.  Our discussion this month highlights The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, a classic in psychology and religion.  A psychological theorist turned philosopher, James has a style that is imbued with humor, lucid writing, and an engaged curiosity that asks fundamental questions about spiritual experience.

James says that what interests him is not religious institutions but religious feelings and impulses.  He says, “religious awe is the same organic thrill which we feel in a forest at twilight, or in a mountain gorge; only this time it comes over us at the thought of our supernatural relations.”   What is important is to view the quality of the fruit and not the source of religious experience.  The idea of religion comprises “the feelings, acts, and experiences of individuals in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.”

James argues for the power of “psychological peculiarities … of belief in an object we cannot see” in his chapter on The Reality of the Unseen. For instance, we cannot conceive of truth, beauty and goodness by themselves, yet they are central to the way we conceive concrete objects.  Abstract ideas exert more power in our minds than concrete realities. We perceive a ‘something there’ and have an undifferentiated sense of reality.

James goes on to detail several characteristics of saintliness and mysticism.  Though he does not make a sure case for the existence of God, what is certain is “… that we can experience union with something larger than ourselves and in that union find our greatest peace”.  He endorses a critical science of religion seeking practical value and religious diversity.  The value of spiritual experience cannot be verified by science.  Appreciating religion is to experience ‘something more’ than ourselves.

Our monthly meeting aims to facilitate the ongoing dialogue between the disciplines of science and religion, one of the most important current areas of debate in terms of understanding the nature of humanity.  You may come to just listen or to freely participate in our conversation.

Please join our gathering for the forum ‘Science and Religion in Conversation’ this Tuesday afternoon, March 1st at 3 PM in the Barton College’s Hackney Library.

 

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NYT Bestselling Author Christina Baker Kline to Speak at Friends of Hackney Library’s Spring 2016 Wine Reception, Book Signing and Dinner Program on April 12

Author Christina Baker Kline (Photo credit: Karin Diana)

Author Christina Baker Kline (Photo credit: Karin Diana)

The Friends of Hackney Library are delighted to host New York Times bestselling author Christina Baker Kline at the annual spring event on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.  A book signing and wine reception will be held from 6:00 to 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 6:30 pm; dinner will follow at 7:15 pm.  The event will be held in Barton College’s Hardy Alumni Hall.

Kline is the author of five novels, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Orphan Train, described as “absorbing” and “moving,” respectively, by Publishers Weekly and Booklist.  The novel “weaves contemporary and historical fiction into a compelling story about loss, adaptability, and courage” according to Library Journal, as it explores the interactions between Molly, a present-day teen in foster care, and the elderly Vivian,  OrphanTrain_finalcoverhighreswho was orphaned as a young child and sent out  for adoption on an orphan train like that of the title.  As Booklist explains, “[t]hese trains carried [orphan] children to adoptive families for 75 years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the start of the Great Depression….Kline illuminates a largely hidden chapter of American history, while portraying the coming-of-age of two resilient young women.”

Her other novels include Bird in Hand, The Way Life Should Be, Desire Lines and Sweet Water. She is currently at work on a novel based on the iconic painting Christina’s World, by Andrew Wyeth.

In addition to her five novels, Kline has written and edited five nonfiction books. She commissioned and edited two widely praised collections of original essays on the first year of parenthood and raising young children, Child of Mine and Room to Grow, and a book on grieving, Always Too Soon.  She is the coeditor, with Anne Burt, of a collection of personal essays called About Face: Women Write About What They See When They Look in the Mirror, and she is co-author, with her mother, Christina Looper Baker, of The Conversation Begins, a book on feminist mothers and daughters.  Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Money, More, and Psychology Today, among other publications.

Kline was born in Cambridge, England, and raised there as well as in the American South and Maine. She is a graduate of Yale, Cambridge, and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing. She has taught fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, English literature, literary theory, and women’s studies at Yale, NYU, and Drew University, and she served as Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University for four years. She is a recipient of several Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowships and Writer-in-Residence Fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  She supports a number of libraries and other associations in New Jersey and Maine, and is a member of the Advisory Board for Roots & Wings, a nonprofit that provides support for at-risk adolescent and aged-out foster care youth.

Kline and her husband, David Kline, live in Montclair, New Jersey and in Maine and have three sons.

Admission for the event is $30 each for Friends of Hackney Library members; for Barton faculty/staff, and spouses. And for the first time ever, the program portion of the event from 6:30 to 7:15 pm is open to students at no cost.  In addition, there are 8 FREE student tickets available for dinner as well (interested students should contact Ann Dolman, 252-399-6507; adolman@barton.edu).  For all other guests, admission is $35 each.

For more information about invitations for the event, please contact Luann Clark at (252) 399-6329, or email the Friends at fohl@barton.edu. Space is limited, and after invitations have been issued, reservations for the dinner must be received by April 4, 2016.

This event is sponsored in part by BB&T.

 

 

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APA and MLA Style Workshops Returning to Hackney Library Feb. 23 and 25!

APA & MLA Covers DiagonalThe weather may still be cold, but the deadline for assignments is just beginning to heat up.

As we look ahead to the eventual return of warmer weather, along with that anticipation comes the realization that either before spring break (just a few weeks away) or just after we return from break, many students will have papers and other assignments due, which their professors expect to be properly formatted in either APA or MLA style.

So now’s the time to sharpen your personal citation skills required to cite sources accurately for those assignments, whether in APA or MLA citation style–or both!  This should be no cause for panic, because two upcoming workshops in Hackney Library are designed to help you do just that:

  • The first workshop will address APA Style on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 11 am-12:00 noon in the library’s Technology Classroom.
  • The second workshop will address MLA Style on Thursday, February 25, 2016, 11 am-12:00 noon, also in the library’s Technology Classroom.

Although the actual content of the workshop sessions will be tailored to the needs of the participants in attendance, we’ll likely cover some basics about the style we’re discussing that day, talk briefly about why we need to cite sources properly, the development and purpose of different styles (of which APA and MLA are just two), but most importantly, we’ll give you a chance to bring to the respective workshops the papers and other assignments you’re working on (as well as the sources you’re trying to cite) for some hands-on personalized assistance to help you create your citations and make sure your formatting is up to snuff.

The Technology Classroom can accommodate a maximum of 24 students in each workshop, so guarantee your spot by coming early with your papers/assignments-in-progress on the appropriate day for the style you need help with (or on both days, if you need help with both APA and MLA styles!).

If you can’t make the workshop, or it fills up before you can claim a seat, don’t worry—there is additional help available:

Librarians on duty at the reference/research assistance desk will continue to help students individually learn how to cite their sources appropriately in both APA and MLA styles.

  • Assistance is also available online through a Citation Help LibGuide as well as through the library web page’s Citation Tools and Guides.
  • In addition, instructors, if you would like to arrange sessions for your individual classes on the various citation styles when your students are far enough along in their research to have sources that need documentation, we’ll be happy to work with you on scheduling those as well—just contact Ann Dolman at 252-399-6502 or adolman@barton.edu to set up a time.

So whether you’re a newbie to these citation styles or an old hand who just needs a refresher, take advantage of the workshops (as well as any of the online sources listed above) and whip those APA and MLA Style skills into shape!  And don’t forget to bring the sources you’re citing with you to the workshop(s)!

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