Winnifred Sullivan, professor of religious studies at Indiana University and affiliate professor of law at the Maurer School of Law, has been named Luther College's Oen Fellow for the 2013 spring semester. She will visit Luther's campus March 10-13.
During her visit, Sullivan will host the Oen Fellowship brown-bag discussion at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 in the Borlaug Room of Dahl Centennial Union and the Oen Fellowship Lecture at 6:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the Franklin W. Olin Building.
Sullivan's lecture, titled "A Ministry of Presence: Chaplains Under Law," will address the issue of the presence of chaplains in many of America's institutions, acting as ministers everywhere from parliaments to prisons. The lecture will cover the fine details of their roles in these institutions as well as question the legality and legal regulation of what they do.
These events are open to the public with no charge for admission.
The Oen Fellowship, established in 1992 through a gift by Ordean and Carol Oen, enables Luther's religion department to invite a distinguished guest lecturer to Luther biannually. Over the course of a 3-5 day visit, these lecturers meet with students, faculty and staff in formal and informal settings to discuss religion and its intersection with other academic subjects such as science, politics and the arts.
In conjunction with her visit to Luther, Sullivan will also attend a discussion and luncheon at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 13 at the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center at 119 Winnebago St. in Decorah. The discussion, titled "Exporting Religious Freedom: Religion and American Foreign Policy," will focus on America's effort over the past decade to advocate for religious freedom both at home and abroad.
After obtaining a law degree from the University of Chicago, Sullivan practiced law for six years before returning to school to study religion. Her research on the subject focuses on understanding the intersection of religion and law in America. In her legal work, Sullivan focuses on socio-legal and critical legal studies.
She has authored three books analyzing legal discourses about religion, particularly those relating to actions brought to enforce religion clauses of the First Amendment.
In addition to a law degree, Sullivan holds a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago.