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Lynn Japinga (Religion): Is the academic study of religion an insult to God? - As a student of religion, I am painfully aware of the many ways that religious institutions and ideas have done damage to women, slaves, LGBT people, Native Americans, etc. As a person of faith, I have been graced by some wonderfully welcoming congregations. As a scholar, I have lamented the narrow mindedness of some aspects of religion, and yet found my own thinking challenged and expanded by so many brilliant and profound religious voices. Religion is a fascinating, messy, complex subject because human beings are so fascinating, messy, and complex. In this talk I will reflect a bit on my experience as a Reformed, feminist theologian, historian, pastor, preacher, professor, and occasional thorn in the side of the church.