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City's Religions Explored

Series Links Spiritual Landscape And Decision-Making

February 2, 2006
By FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR, Courant Staff Writer

Religious movements and institutions increasingly influence people's decision-making - not just in their personal lives but socially and politically, says Carl Dudley, an emeritus professor at Hartford Seminary.

"When you look at abortion, immigration, prayer in the workplace or even the decision to support a particular political candidate, we are recognizing more the religious dimensions of these issues and also how these religious centers are a growing [area] of power," Dudley said.

To give local professionals, community leaders and interested citizens a better understanding of these issues, Dudley has developed an eight-week program called "The Hartford Religious Landscape From Within."

The program will explore some of the most active religious communities in the Hartford area, from established faiths such as Judaism and Islam to emerging movements such as Pentecostalism in the Hispanic community, to the beliefs of people of faith who are not members of a denomination.

"One of the fastest-growing groups right now are what we call `unaffiliated believers' - people who do not identify with any religious institution, who are believers without belonging," Dudley said.

The Rev. Gary Miller of Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford, the Rev. Leroy Bailey of First Cathedral in Bloomfield and Bishop Jeremias Torres of Iglesia Casa de Restauracion in Hartford will be among the speakers during the eight-week program.

The sessions will take place at selected churches, a synagogue and a mosque, and representatives from religious communities will discuss issues with scholars and experts from the seminary, the Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and Leadership Greater Hartford. Sessions will be archived on the seminary's website and videotaped for further study.

"The Hartford Religious Landscape From Within" starts Monday and will meet weekly through March 27, from noon to 2 p.m. The cost is $25 per session, which includes lunch and parking, or $175 for the series. For more information, call Hartford Seminary at 860-509-9555.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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