Toward a Moral Consensus Against Torture

Toward a Moral Consensus Against Torture

A Gathering of Students, Clergy, People of Conscience, and People of Faith

Durham, N.C.

March 25, 2011 to March 26, 2011

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Experts in theology, religion and human rights will gather to discuss the use of torture in the U.S. and abroad and to prepare participants for anti-torture advocacy within their own communities.

“Toward a Moral Consensus Against Torture: A Gathering of Students, Clergy, People of Conscience, and People of Faith,” is open to the public and will take place at Duke Divinity School and First Presbyterian Church in Durham, N.C.

The interfaith conference is sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center, the North Carolina Council of Churches, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). Amy Laura Hall, associate professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School, is coordinating the conference and will be moderating sessions.

“This is not an academic debate but part of a national effort toward a moral consensus: torture is always wrong, torture does not make ‘us’ safer, and we need concrete tactics to refuse the climate of fear and compliance,” says Hall. “Torture dehumanizes both victim and perpetrator; and it ultimately renders the nation that practices it morally damaged, less secure, and less human than before.”

Speakers and panelists representing diverse faith traditions include:

  • Abdullah Antepli, Duke University Muslim chaplain and adjunct faculty member of Islamic Studies
  • Richard Cizik, president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
  • David Gushee, Mercer University professor and chair of the Board of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
  • Linda Gustitus, president of NRCAT
  • Scott Horton, contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine
  • George Hunsinger, founder of NRCAT
  • Robin Kirk, executive director of the Duke Human Rights Center
  • Ingrid Mattson, director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary
  • Gen. (ret.) Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist active in anti-torture efforts

Download the Toward a Moral Consensus Against Torture poster. (pdf)

Speakers

Amey Victoria Adkins
Amey Victoria Adkins is a Ph.D. student in religion (Christian Theological Studies) at Duke University and a lecturer with Project TURN.

Abdullah Antepli
Abdullah Antepli is the Muslim chaplain at Duke University and Adjunct Faculty of Islamic Studies at Duke Divinity School.

Kalman Bland
Kalman Bland is professor of religion at Duke University. His specialty is medieval Jewish intellectual history. 

Beth Brockman
Beth Brockman of Durham, N.C., is an activist and member of Witness Against Torture

Richard Cizik
The Rev. Richard Cizik is the president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

Christina Cowger
Christina Cowger is the coordinator of North Carolina Stop Torture Now.

Amy Fettig
Amy Fettig is the staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project.

David Gushee
David Gushee, Distinguished Professor at Mercer University and chair of the Board of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Linda Gustitus
Linda Gustitus is the president of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

Amy Laura Hall
Amy Laura Hall is associate professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School and the author of Kierkegaard and the Treachery of Love and Conceiving Parenthood.

Scott Horton
Scott Horton is the contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine.

George Hunsinger
Dr. George Hunsinger is the Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and founder of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

Sarah Jobe
Sarah Jobe D’06 is a member of Watts Street Baptist Church, Durham, N.C., and the director of Project TURN (Transform, Unlock, Renew), a partnership between Chaplaincy Services of the N.C. Department of Corrections and students and faculty at Duke Divinity School in which students and faculty teach seminary style classes in North Carolina prisons.

Robin Kirk
Robin Kirk, executive director of the Duke Human Rights Center

David LaMotte
David LaMotte is the program associate for peace with the North Carolina Council of Churches.

Ingrid Mattson
Dr. Ingrid Mattson is the director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary and immediate past president of the Islamic Society of North America.

Phil Griffin
Phil Griffin is the leader of the civil constitutional litigation team at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services. Since joining the staff in 1989, he has represented prisoners in both civil and criminal constitutional litigation, in state and federal courts. 

Stephen Xenakis
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Stephen Xenakis is a psychiatrist active in anti-torture efforts

Conference Locations & Parking

The sessions on Friday, March 25 will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Durham. Parking is free and available behind the church. No prior parking arrangements are required. However, a parking pass must be displayed on your dashboard when you park. Pick up this pass from the church office when you arrive.

The sessions on Saturday, March 26 will be held on Duke’s campus. Limited parking spaces are available on campus and cost $2 per hour. Thus, prior parking arrangements are needed if you wish to drive your car to campus and receive a discount on parking charges. Your event registration fee includes parking costs and guarantees a parking space for you in the Bryan Center Parking Deck.

All registered participants will receive parking instructions in their registration confirmation.

Questions

For more information or questions about the conference, contact Leadership Education at Duke Divinity at (919) 613-5323.

Schedule

Friday, March 25, 2011 • First Presbyterian Church, Durham, N.C.

3:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Keynote addresses
 
 
6:00 p.m. Dinner
 
   
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. “The Nature of U.S. Sponsored Torture” panel discussion
 
  • Brig. Gen. (ret.) Stephen Xenakis, a Psychiatrist active in anti-torture efforts
  • Scott Horton, Contributing Editor of Harper’s Magazine
  • Robin Kirk, Executive Director, Duke Human Rights Center
 

Saturday, March 26, 2011 • Duke Divinity School

9:00 a.m. “An Interfaith View of Torture” panel discussion
 
 
10:30 a.m. Break
 
   
10:45 a.m. “Torture in U.S. Prisons” panel discussion
 
  • Amy Fettig, Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project
  • Phil Griffin, North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services
  • Sarah Jobe D’06, Watts Street Baptist Church, Durham, N.C. and Director of Project TURN
  • Amey Victoria Adkins, Ph.D. Student in Religion (Christian Theological Studies) at Duke University and a Lecturer with Project TURN.
 
12:15 p.m. Lunch with speaker Christina Cowger, Coordinator of North Carolina Stop Torture Now
 
   
1:15 p.m. “What Can You Do When You Go Home?” panel discussion
 
  • Linda Gustitus, President of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • David LaMotte, Program Associate for Peace with the North Carolina Council of Churches
  • Beth Brockman, Activist, Durham, N.C., and Member of Witness Against Torture
 
2:30 p.m. “Notes on the National Detainee Taskforce
 
  • David Gushee, Distinguished Professor at Mercer University and chair of the Board of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
 
3:30 p.m. Adjournment
 
   

The registration fee is $10 for students and $35 for non-students. The fee includes two meals and also snacks on Saturday morning.

Registration is now closed.