Bluffton University Professor to Share Annual C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture

Posted on April 8, 2022

BLUFFTON, Ohio – Dr. J. Alexander Sider, professor of religion at Bluffton University, will present, “Shalom as Equity: Disability, Health Care Disparities and Social Justice During COVID-19” at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 12, in Yoder Recital Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

This will be the C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture for 2022. The lectureship honors the late professor who taught at Bluffton for 35 years, from 1913-48, after spending 10 years at Goshen College. Smith was known for his books on Mennonite history and the peace tradition of the Mennonite churches. After his death in 1948, his estate established a trust in his name that funds projects—including the lectureship—that promote the Mennonite peace message.

The lectureship is awarded each year to a faculty member from one of the Mennonite colleges, with priority given to Goshen and Bluffton faculty. The chosen faculty member must prepare a lecture that promotes the Mennonite peace stance, then present it at Bluffton and Goshen and at other schools and on other occasions as invited.

Sider will explore how the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and deepened existing inequalities for people with disabilities by looking at the Hebrew Bible’s idea of “shalom,” often translated as “peace,” as a framework for thought and action about structural justice, health, well-being, and equity.

Sider is the Harry and Jean Yoder Scholar in Bible and Religion at Bluffton University where he serves as the chair of the History and Religion Department and directs the Peace and Conflict Studies Program.

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