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Professor of Religious Studies delivers Yamauchi Lecture

Loyola press release - October 22, 2003

Professor of Religious Studies at Loyola University New Orleans Vernon Gregson, Ph.D., will deliver the fall Yamauchi lecture Sunday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, on Loyola’s main campus.

In his lecture titled “Beyond the Dialogue of Religions: Integrating Other Traditions Into One’s Own” Gregson will outline how the world is in a unique period of human history. He writes “Because of large migrations of persons, instantaneous world news, global religious strife, and the internet’s connection of people throughout the world, we are exposed on a continuing basis to religions which for 14 - 24 centuries have lived primarily separate. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were largely centered in the Mid-East and Europe, Hinduism and Buddhism were primarily in India and the Far East, and Confucianism and Taoism were in China and Korea. Now practitioners’ of worship of all of these religions can be found in major cities throughout the world. And this will only increase.

“As a society, exposure to these various traditions, which have historically been foreign to each other, are now near at hand, “Gregson said. He will explore how society reacts to the diversity. “We will address in this lecture, both how religions in the past have integrated new elements, religious and otherwise, and suggest how we may do so today, respecting both fidelity to our own traditions and our new world situation.”

Gregson’s work ranges broadly over matters of ethics, psychoanalysis, and law. He holds a doctorate in theology from Marquette University, a juris doctor from Loyola University School of Law, and a graduate certification as a psychoanalyst from the Tulane University School of Medicine. Gregson has authored Lonergan, Spirituality and the Meeting of Religions and is co-author of Desires of the Human Heart. He directs the psychiatry and religion course at LSU Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and serves on the Medical Research Committee of Touro Infirmary.

The Yamauchi Lectures in Religion series was begun in 1985 in memory of the Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J., former chair of the Department of Religious Studies who taught at Loyola University New Orleans from 1956 to 1966. The New Orleans community knew Yamauchi for his effective communication of knowledge about religion, and this lecture series seeks to perpetuate his work by bringing the results of religious scholarship to a wider audience.