Jordan to address same-sex marriage at tonight’s lecture

Jordan to address same-sex marriage at tonights lecture

by Jillian BishopStaff Writer

This year’s Matthew Simpson Lecture features Mark D. Jordan, Asa Griggs Candler Professor at Emory University.

The lecture, titled “Going to the Chapel, But Not to Get Married: Why Some Same-Sex Couples Won’t Wed” will be held in Great Hall from 7 -8 p.m.

Jordan is the author of multiple works including, “The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Technology.”

“He’s somebody we thought our students would enjoy listening to,” Mark Gammon, assistant professor of religion, said. “He is a provocative person who is talking about something interesting.”

Jordan will be talking about religion and sexuality within the church as well. He plans on expressing the importance of religion in his life and how it can be important in other’s lives.

The lecture will include ways to overcome circumstances in life by turning to religion.

“Most of what we hear about religion and sex in news reports or campaign ads is not just misleading,” Jordan said. “It is violently false in the way propaganda is.”

Established in 1980, the Matthew Simpson Lecture is given every fall to bring to campus nationally-recognized speakers in religion.

Last year, Pamela Eisenbaum, a Jewish New Testament scholar, spoke at the lecture.

This year, however, Jordan will speak on the issue of homosexuality within religion.

“He deals with issues of the history of marriage and sexuality in the church, so he’s timely relevant to things that people are talking about now,” Gammon said.

Janet Everhart, assistant professor of religion, looks forward to hearing Jordan’s lecture on the topic.

“A lot of his academic work has looked at how the Christian church has constructed a whole theology around same-sex relations,” Everhart said. “A theology that isn’t necessarily supported by biblical text.”

Many students are wondering how this controversial topic will affect students who go to hear Jordan speak.

“I think it will be a good thing to hear,” freshman Derek Haugland said. “There are many different viewpoints on how it [gay marriage] should be dealt with.”

Simpson offers a wide variety of religion classes students can take. Jordan advises students to take advantage of these classes along with their college experience and opportunities.

“Colleges are places where we can talk about difficult issues,” Jordan said. “Otherwise, they get talked about in what passes for ‘public debate.'”

He hopes that many students will learn from his lecture tonight.

“I would hope that this lecture, together with other events and classes, would expand conversations at Simpson about religion and sexuality,” he said.

Jordan will be open to answering students’ questions at the end of his lecture. There will also be a reception following the lecture for students to attend and personally ask questions.

“I’m very pleased that he, by his own report, most looks forward to interacting with students.” Everhart said.