During the Kinghorn Fellowship last year, Professor of Religious Studies Richard Salter ’86, P’15 explored the role of religion, education and public policy in the life of a global citizen. He recently shared the results of that work with the HWS community.
On Thursday, March 18, Professor of Religious Studies Richard Salter ’86, P’15 shared the outcomes of the research and public dialogues he conducted as the 2019-20 John R. and Florence B. Kinghorn Global Fellow during a virtual presentation of his Kinghorn Lecture, “The Liberal Arts, citizenship, and curriculum.”
“The liberal arts have traditionally been understood as education for the ‘citizen’ or free man. But this implies two questions: who is a citizen and what does the citizen need to know?” Salter explains. “Colleges answer these questions with their curriculum. How do we answer them at HWS? As we think about that question, it can be instructive to look at how the questions have been answered in the past.”
Looking to the past and future of the Colleges’ curriculum and academic programming, Salter’s lecture explored what an updated “global citizenship” curriculum might look like, with the goal of provoking ideas to apply to the current HWS curriculum.
Established in 1970 and generously endowed by Dr. and Mrs. William Reckmeyer in honor of John Readie and Florence B. Kinghorn, the fellowship honors outstanding faculty at HWS who have exemplified global citizenship on a continued basis. This excellence can be demonstrated through research and writing, mentoring independent studies or Honors projects, leading international study programs with an emphasis on citizenship, working with third-party organizations and/or encouraging global enrichment programs on campus.
Salter was awarded the Kinghorn Fellowship in 2019 for his cross-cultural scholarship and sustained efforts to connect the HWS campus to communities around the globe. This work includes his leadership with the Colleges’ Human Rights and Genocide Symposium and The March: Bearing Witness to Hope, a biennial 10-day tour though Poland and Germany, sponsored by HWS and Nazareth College, to study the Holocaust under the collective guidance of Holocaust scholars, survivors, and Israeli and Polish guides.
As a Kinghorn Fellow, Salter participated in a fall 2019 panel on immigration; worked with departments across the HWS curriculum to invite speakers to campus during the 2019-20 Human Rights and Genocide Symposium; and, alongside Associate Professor of Religious Studies Shalahudin Kafrawi, presented a series of panels about college life to 120 Geneva High School ninth graders.
Salter, who joined the Colleges’ faculty in 1998, has focused his research on New World Christianities, Christian-Syncretic religious movements and how religious groups in general form. He was the chair of the American Academy of Religion seminar on Rastafari in Global Context and has written on Rastafarianism, Christianity, state-sanctioned violence and practical theology. His scholarly interests were shaped in particular by his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West Indies from 1986 to 1988. At HWS, Salter initiated and directed the Colleges’ study abroad program in Mendoza, Argentina in 2008, and directed the program again in 2010 and 2012. He earned his B.A. in political science from Hobart College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in religion and the human sciences from the University of Chicago.