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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State holds religion and COVID symposium on Friday

The event will feature five Chico faculty members
Flyer courtesy Daniel Veidlinger

Chico State is set to host a uniquely specific symposium on Friday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in Tehama 116, delving into the relationship between COVID-19 and religion.

“The symposium will cover ethical concerns regarding how to negotiate the demands of religion and specifically the right to practice one’s sincerely held religion freely in light of the public health problems that arose in the wake of the Covid pandemic,” said Daniel Veidlinger, chair of the comparative religion and humanities departments.

The event will feature Chico faculty members: Veidlinger, Sarah Gagnebin, Aaron Quinn, Joel Zimbelman and Kwadwo Boakye. Academics Mahan Mirza from the University of Notre Dame, and Andy Flescher from Stony Brook University, the State University of New York, who started their careers at Chico State, will also be speaking. 

“Most of the talks will be based on a special edition of the journal Religions to which we all contributed articles about Religion and COVID,” Veidlinger said. 

Not all professors presenting are in the field of comparative religion. 

Journalism professor Quinn is presenting on a paper that “… At heart, argues that religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandates are arbitrary if the mandate is otherwise universal,” he said. 

The schedule is as follows:

  • Session One (9-9:30 a.m.): Zimbelman and Flescher “Looking at the Impact of COVID-19 on Religious Practice and the Impact of Religious Practice on Covid-19”
  • Session Two (9:30-10:15 a.m.) : Mirza “Between Tyranny and Anarchy: Islam, COVID-19 and Public Policy”  with response by Zimbelman
  • Session Three (10:15-11:00 a.m.): Quinn “The Arbitrariness of Faith–Based Medical Exemptions to the COVID Vaccine” with response by Veidlinger
  • Session Four (11-11:30 a.m.): Gagnebin discusses her experiences as a hospital chaplain and the challenges of pandemics

LUNCH BREAK  (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)

  • Session Five (12:30-1:15 p.m.): Flescher “Where Do—And Where Should—Individual Liberties Give Way to the Public Good When Trying To Promote Population Health During a Pandemic?”
  • Conclusion  (1:15-2:00 p.m.): Panel response and discussion with Boakye,  Mirza and Zimbelman

For more information on the symposium reach out to Veidlinger at [email protected]

Molly Myers can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Molly Myers, Managing Editor/Features Editor
Molly Myers is a transfer student from Palmdale, California. She is a journalism major also minoring in religious studies. Molly is Managing Editor at The Orion and previously worked as Editor-in-Chief. Her work is also published in Watershed Review. Getting to meet new people and hear their stories is her favorite part of being a journalist. Outside of The Orion she instructs yoga at the WREC and volunteers with the Torres Community Shelter.

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