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Sacred Heart Discussion Series Will Explore Hate, Violence

Four timely talks will take place during the spring semester, focusing on causes and resolutions

Sacred Heart University is responding to the troubling prevalence of violence in the United States—and the world—with a discussion series that will explore the roots and resolutions.

The series, “Heart Challenges Hate,” will take place throughout the spring semester. Speakers and panelists will discuss everything from the psychology and rhetoric of hate to the First Amendment and whether religion is a contributor to or remedy for violence and hatred. These events will be interactive and free of charge, and the public is welcome to join in the discussion.

“Universities have a critical responsibility and role to play in sustaining a democratic society in which we maintain a rule of law, the open flow of ideas, acceptance of diversity, respect for human dignity and the common good,” said Michelle Loris, associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Catholic studies chair. “These ideals are supported by reasoned, open discourse. Our University, with its mission rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition and liberal arts, is especially dedicated to maintaining all of these principles. So, it is very important that we would—during this dark time of hatred, bigotry and violence—sponsor a series of colloquia to gather, reflect upon and engage in intelligent and informed discussion about these issues, both within the University and with the larger community.”

“Heart Challenges Hate” begins Jan. 30 with Loris and Christina Taylor, psychology professor, who will discuss the psychology of hate. On Feb. 27, Professor Bill Yousman will address the rhetoric of hate in the media. Then, professors Jennifer McLaughlin and Gary Rose will focus on the First Amendment and hate on March 27, and the series will conclude April 24, when campus clergy will consider whether religion is part of the problem or a remedy for hate.

All discussions will take place at 7 p.m. in the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center theater (E-145).