The New Yorker’s Emma Green to Headline Bridgewater College Symposium on ‘Brethren and the Polarizing Pandemic’

A headshot of writer Emma Green. She appears wearing glasses and smiling.

Journalist and writer Emma Green will give an endowed lecture on Thursday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Cole Hall on the College’s campus. The lecture, free and open to the public, serves as the keynote address for Bridgewater College’s two-day symposium held March 10-11 on “Brethren and the Polarizing Pandemic: What Next?” Green has written extensively on culture, politics and religion, and her lecture, “A Sickness in the Body Politic and the Body Faithful: How COVID Has Shaped U.S. Religious Communities,” will bring reflections on religion in post-COVID America.

A New York City native, Green covers cultural conflicts in academia. She currently works as a staff writer for The New Yorker and was previously a staff writer at The Atlantic,where she covered politics and religion. Her work has been anthologized in several books, including The American Crisis and The God Beat.

The lecture is sponsored by the Weimer Christian Vocation of Peace and Peace Making Lectureship Fund of Bridgewater College’s Rhodes School of Arts and Humanities.

Friday’s symposium, sponsored by the Forum for Brethren Studies, begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Wampler President’s Suite in Nininger Hall at Bridgewater College. Green kicks off the event with a Q&A at 9 a.m. The symposium will contemplate the Church of the Brethren as it emerges from the global pandemic, assessing pre-COVID trends and determining their likely post-COVID trajectory. Topics include the likelihood of further division, social and economic inequality, and the influence of external authority as illustrated by the 1919 and 2020 pandemics.

In addition to Green, other presenters include Robert Johansen of the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University, Bridgewater College Professor of History Emeritus Stephen Longenecker and Director of Brethren Mennonite Heritage Center Samuel Funkhouser. Bethany Theological Seminary President Jeffrey Carter and Church of the Brethren Shenandoah District Executive Minister John Jantzi will present current perspectives from their constituencies, and Carl Bowman of the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture will chair a panel of Brethren leaders.

Friday’s symposium has a registration fee of $20 with lunch provided. Advance registration for the symposium can be completed by Wednesday, March 9, by emailing Carol Scheppard at Walk-ups are welcome on the day of the event.

In keeping with guidance from the CDC, Bridgewater College requires that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, properly wear face masks when indoors in public areas of campus.

Media Contact:
Logan Bogert
Communications Coordinator
(540) 828-5486