June is Torture Awareness Month, and we are gearing up for a presentation by David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and the Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. The event takes place on June 24 at 7 p.m. at Raleigh’s Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. Joining Dr. Gushee are Rev. Luke Powery, Dean of Chapel and Associate Professor of the Practice of Homiletics at Duke University, and Dr. Christina Cowger, Coordinator for North Carolina Stop Torture Now.
Dr. Gushee served on a blue-ribbon Task Force on Detainee Treatment convened by the bipartisan Constitution Project. That task force issued a 600-page report in April 2013, which called upon Americans of all political ideologies to recognize that the U.S. has engaged in systematic torture, and that its use was ordered by our highest officials. For years, Dr. Gushee has provided a strong Christian perspective on torture. He was also the principal drafter of the Evangelical Declaration against Torture in 2007. He will provide the keynote, “Coming to Terms with Torture: Truth, Accountability, and Renunciation.”
Rev. Powery has served in an ecumenical capacity in churches in Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. He is a member of the Academy of Homiletics, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion. He will offer reflections from the perspective of a North Carolina faith leader.
Dr. Cowger will speak to North Carolina and torture. She was one of several people who launched NC Stop Torture Now in late 2005, when national media began linking Aero Contractors of Smithfield, NC, to the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program.