‘Smartness! Silliness! Prizes!’: Valentine’s panel with religion faculty coming to campus


CMU students walk past the Park Library, Wednesday, Feb 1, on the campus of Central Michigan University. The library is always a busy place on campus for students to study, read some books, or just hang out. 

A panel for Valentine’s Day with religion faculty at Central Michigan University will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the Park Library Auditorium. 

According to CMU’s website, prior to Valentine’s Day, faculty members will “enlighten” the audience on religious topics including Mary Magdalene, early modern women marriage, religion in young adult literature and the Hindu god, Krishna. 

Laurel Zwissler, a religion professor, said she and other professors came up with the event to have fun in the midst of winter and introduce students to research and teachings of religion in an entertaining manner. 

“It's a fun way to combine the academic study of religion with popular culture,” Zwissler said. 

The event takes place annually twice a year, on Halloween and Valentine’s Day, Zwissler said. 

Sara Moslener, a religion professor and one of the speakers at the event, said the panel will start with four speakers, then students will have a chance to participate in a Q&A. Moslener said the event will have candy and little prizes.

“This is an opportunity for students to get to know faculty in philosophy, anthropology and religion as they think about future courses they want to take,” Moslener said.

Moslener said, for example, she will deliver a short speech about a Young Adult book called “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume. She said the book is an interesting piece to understanding religious identities and adolescence. 

According to CMU’s website, the speakers are:

· Kelly Murphy on “Mary Magdalene!”;

· Hadley Cooney on “Marriage and the Early Modern Woman”;

· Sara Moslener on “Are You There, God? Religion in Young Adult (YA) Fiction”;

· Laurel Zwissler on “Krishna: The Original Boy Band”.

“It’s usually a very relaxed event,” Moslener said. “It’s time to have fun and hang out with students and learn about interesting things.” 

The event is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Anthropology and Religion. 

For more information, contact Kelly Murphy by emailing kelly.murphy@cmich.edu or calling 989-774-3526.