Monday, November 3, 2008

Report on the IRFWP/NWE reception at the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion

The Inter Religious Federation and the New World Encyclopedia offered a top drawer, scholarly panel on a controversial, interesting, and relevant subject. We picked what we believed to be an ideal topic to address the challenges faced by religion scholars with a mission to teach at university and graduate school levels.

It was our hope that this presentation, could help those present recognize the unique value and importance of
NWE. Such matters as the hotly debated interface between religion and science found in the article on Intelligent Design contain in microcosm questions facing religious scholarship today.

David Burgess, the editor for both literature and political science, drew from his expertise in each area to contextualize the special challenge presented when publishing articles on controversial subject matter such as Intelligent Design. He spoke of similar controversies in university literature departments, and spoke of the serious implications of the ID debate for contemporary society and culture. His job was to set the stage for the editor of this particular article, namely Rick Swarts, NWE editor for Life Sciences.

Rick Swarts followed with a second, commanding presentation, explaining his approach to the article and showing how the NWE version differs from that which appears in Wikipedia. Additionally, Dr. Swarts expanded through this particular subject to show how NWE life science articles communicate universal, ideal values along with just what many such values are.

The panel was followed by a pleasant and lively, wine and cheese reception.

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