posted March 27, 2013

Noted Scholar on Religion and Violence to Speak

Dr. J. Harold Ellens, a recognized expert in the field of religion and psychology, will discuss religiously induced violence on Monday, April 1, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center conference room at Hope College.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The presentation is a part of the Searching the Sacred lecture series sponsored by the college’s department of religion.

Ellens is the author or editor of 180 published volumes, the majority of which explore the interface of spirituality and psychology, and of 167 professional journal articles and reviews.  He edited “The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” (Praeger, 2003), a four-volume work that was inspired by the events of 9/11. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, has called the volumes “a groundbreaking work of tremendous insight.” Martin E. Marty, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago and former president of the American Academy of Religion, has described them “as a work that will inform and provide perspective to people anywhere who are trying to make sense of the outburst of religiously based violence.”

Ellens is retired from his roles as professor of philosophy and psychology, having taught at Oakland University, Calvin Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary and Oakland Community College; executive director of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies; founder and editor-in-chief of the “Journal of Psychology and Christianity”; and Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor. He is also retired as a colonel from the U.S. Army and still works for the armed forces a major part of each year as a contract psychologist treating combat veterans.

Ellens holds a doctorate in Near Eastern studies from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in the psychology of human communications from Wayne State University.  He is a graduate of Calvin College, and holds a Bachelor of Divinity and master’s from Calvin Theological Seminary, and master’s degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Michigan.

The Maas Center is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.