World Religion Day
Each year, All Souls Unitarian Universalist presents the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award to an individual or organization from the wider community who has best exemplified the Principles of Unitarian Universalism and the values of liberal religion.
The Recipient for 2004 was Dr. Peter Huff.
Dr. Peter Huff is Chair of the Religious Studies Dept. at Centenary College. There, with his colleagues Susan Brayford and David Otto (both of whom have spoken here in our church) Dr. Huff has introduced courses that include introductions to Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, East Asian Religions, American Religious Experience, Religion in the South, and Global Fundamentalism. He has written 2 books and over 40 articles and reviews on American religious history, comparative religion, and interfaith dialogue. He is presently writing a book that addresses the international need to include fundamentalism from all faith traditions in the interfaith dialogue that so often occurs without the participation and benefit of these more conservative Religious voices and perspectives—calling fundamentalism “the final frontier of interfaith dialogue.”
After 9/11 Dr. Huff spoke on Islam and other Asian religions at First United Methodist Church, Christ United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, St. Marks Episcopal Cathedral, and other congregations.
When the War in Iraq began Dr. Huff wrote his students a letter that expressed his view of its being a morally illegitimate war of aggression against on of the world’s weakest nations. He asked the students not to think of the war as just another current event, but to do the thinking and reflection that colleges and universities are
created to facilitate—especially church related colleges. As an act of protest and repentance he made a vow of silence in the classroom for 1 whole week of classes. Students were still to do their assignments. Otherwise they could join him in seated silent meditation or be dismissed.
For the NCCJ National Conference for Community and Justice, Dr. Huff organizes Interfaith events especially “Women of Faith” panel discussions. He serves on the Board of World Religion Day here in Shreveport.
Dr. Huff has already presented papers to the Parliament of the World Religions in Africa, England, India and Spain.
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