Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies & Dialogue

Sacred Texts and Human Contexts

(Under Construction)

To register: See the Conference Information section below.

These conferences bring together scholars from the United States, Canada, and around the globe to share research on contemporary issues in religion and social sciences. We invite you to join us.

Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Religions and the "De" Legitimization of Violence

When: July 29 - 31, 2018

Where: Shults Otto Community Center,Nazareth College, Rochester, New York,  4245 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14618

In today's world, it seems that religious violence has become an unfortunate norm. But, is religion actually the major cause  of violence? Or is violence actually more linked to political, racial, economic or social disparities and injustices?
international symposium will elaborate on how religions have viewed and interpreted their sacred texts throughout their histories with reference to "De" legitimization of violence. The Symposium is multidisciplinary and we encourage submissions from social scientists, historians as well as scholars in theology and religious studies in particular on the subject of religion,violence and peacemaking in its historical and contemporary context reconsidering the political, economic and social conditions along with the religious teachings of different faiths in our world.

Some of the broader areas that presenters will consider exploring are:

  • Religions, Violence and Peace Making (challenging common perception of religiously motivated violence in faith traditions

  • Investigating the roots of  different types of violence in its historical and religious contexts?
  • How you interpret as historian, social scientists or a professor in religion or theology the common perception that  faith traditions are most commonly responsible initiating warfare than political, economic or ethnic motives

  • Addressing issues of conflicts and different patterns of peacemaking responses in faith and non-faith traditions   

  • Empirical, anthropological or scientific approaches to religion and violence.

  • Religious and non-religious approaches to violence, non-violent resistance and peace-building.


Conference Information

Conference Schedule will be posted in March 2018
Conference Registration, Meals, and Housing
Sacred Texts Conference Publications
Submitting Proposals
Foundational Questions

Administration and Planning

Event Partners
Planning Committee

Conference History

2013: Focused on the role of sacred texts in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in uniting and dividing humanity. Selected papers from the conference were published in December 2014. 

2014: Held in Istanbul. Focused on poverty and wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Selected papers were published by Palgrave MacMillan in June 2016.

2016: Focused on nature and the environment in religions. Selected papers are being prepared for publication. A WXXI public radio half-hour interview with Thomas Donlin-Smith, professor of religious studies at Nazareth College; Nathan Kollar, Hickey Center co-founder; and others explored how faith influences the environment.

Why Rochester, New York

While in Rochester, conference participants can visit nearby historic landmarks that define the women’s rights movement.

  • Rochester is the seed of the Women’s Rights Movement. Susan B. Anthony lived and worked tirelessly here for suffrage and is buried in the local Mount Hope Cemetery. Visit the Susan. B. Anthony House.
  • Less than an hour from Rochester is Seneca Falls, home of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, including Wesleyan Chapel where the first Women's Rights Convention was held in 1848.

  • Learn about the traditionally matriarchal society of the Seneca people — which inspired the women's suffrage movement — at a historic site and culture center just southeast of Rochester in Victor called Ganondagan.

  • Genesee Country Village and Museum presents the lives and times of 19th-century America, including women.

  • Read more about Women's Heritage & Rights in the region.

National "firsts" in Rochester

  • Martha Matilda Harper defied her destiny as a servant girl to launch America's first business format franchising system in 1891.
  • Catherine Anselm "Kate" Gleason, born in Rochester, was an American engineer and business woman. She was the first woman elected to membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the first woman to serve as president of a national bank, and the first female member of the American Concrete Institute.
  • Antoinette Blackwell was the first ordained female minister in the United States.