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"Same God:" Dr. Larycia Hawkins And The Cost Of Conscience

Photograph by Molly Jordan Angevine/UVA

Tom’s next guest is Dr. Larycia Hawkins.  She’s a political scientist and social activist who is currently the Abd el-Kader Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Cultureand a lecturer at the University of Virginia. Before taking her current position, Dr. Hawkins was an associate professor and founder and director of the Peace & Conflict Studies Certificate Program at Wheaton College in Illinois, a Christian liberal arts college near Chicago known in some circles as the “Harvard of evangelical colleges.”

In 2015, Dr. Hawkins, who is a Christian, was fired from her tenured position by the college after she posted on Facebook a picture of herself wearing a hijab, along with a statement expressing her “embodied solidarity” with Muslim women and her belief that Christians and Muslims "worship the same God." 

Credit Larycia Hawkins
The 2015 Facebook post that changed the trajectory of Dr. Hawkins' life.

Her actions put her in the middle of a firestorm of controversy over academic freedom and religious tolerance. Filmmaker Linda Midgett's new documentary, Same God,chronicles Hawkins' experience.  The film is available online for streaming. 

This afternoon from 4:00-5:00pm, Dr. Hawkins will take part in a virtual dialoguewith Heather Miller Rubens, the executive director of the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studieshere in Baltimore.   Follow this linkto register for the free public event. 

Dr. Larycia Hawkins joins Tom on the phone from her home in Charlottsville, Virginia.

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Rob is a contributing producer for Midday.