Stanley L. Olsen
Stanley L. Olsen

Augustana College
Sioux Falls, SD

Stanley L. Olsen
Chair of Moral Values

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2013-2014 activities




9 Sept 2013

As the new Chair of Moral Values, I invite you to join me in celebrating the 226th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution on Tuesday, September 17 at 3:00pm in MC 201.

The Lasting Forms of Revolution: On the Constraining Power of Declarations of Independence


One of the chief reasons for the U.S. Constitution's longevity is how Americans have tended to see its provisions as grounded in the principles of the Declaration of Independence. In this respect, the Declaration and the Constitution both serve as founding documents of the American polity, creating constraints on majorities and protecting the rights of individuals. In this presentation, I first describe how the Declaration has helped define the boundaries of acceptable political action throughout U.S. history. I then compare its form and substance with that of independence documents from around the world, in order to identify declarations with similar power to constrain political action. I then conclude with reflections upon the necessity and consequences of formally declaring independence in an age of drone strikes, social media, and intense data gathering.

JOEL A. JOHNSON, Ph.D.
Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Department of Government and International Affairs



16 Sept 2013

As your September calendar fills up, please try to find room for the following Chair of Moral Values events:

1. Remember that my Constitution Day talk is TOMORROW, September 17, at 3:00 in MC 201. The topic will be "The Lasting Forms of Revolution: On the Constraining Power of Declarations of Independence."

2. At 7:00 PM on Wednesday, September 25 in Siverson Lounge, we will be holding a roundtable discussion on the topic "Faith and Skepticism in the 21st Century." Participants will include:

Dr. Richard Swanson, Professor of Religion, Augustana College

Amanda Novotny, President of Siouxland Freethinkers

Dr. Christina Hitchcock, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, University of Sioux Falls

Eric Novotny, Coordinator of South Dakota Coalition of Reason

The idea for this panel comes from the recent billboards ("Don't Believe in God? Join the Club.") sponsored by SD CoR. The Argus ran some interesting stories about the billboards--and community reactions to them--but we're aiming for a fuller, free-ranging discussion of the role of faith and reason in our changing world. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Come with an open mind and plenty of questions!
Best wishes,

Joel Johnson

JOEL A. JOHNSON, Ph.D.
Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Associate Professor
Department of Government and International Affairs


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 10:16:46 -0600
From: "Joel Johnson"
To: "Everyone Everyone"
Tomorrow (Nov. 19) is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
To mark the occasion, the Government Club is sponsoring a public reading of the address at 5:15 PM
on the main floor of the Commons, near the mailboxes.

Since Daniel Day-Lewis is committed elsewhere, Jesse Nelson (`16) has agreed to play the part of Abraham Lincoln.
We have yet to find someone willing to read Edward Everett's two-hour-long oration, which preceded Lincoln's brief remarks . . . .


Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2013 11:49:05 -0600
From: "Joel Johnson"
To: "Everyone Everyone"
Subject: CMV discussion of Peter Singer--Nov. 21 @ 10:00

Greetings!

You are invited to participate in the next Chair of Moral Values event, which will take place Thursday, November 21 at 10:00 in Madsen 201.

Dr. Stephen Minister (Associate Professor of Philosophy) and I will be leading a discussion of Peter Singer's "Solution to World Poverty," a famous and provocative essay concerning our moral obligation to the world's poor.
The piece is available here:

http://www.utilitarianism.net/singer/by/19990905.htm


We are all very busy, of course, but as Thanksgiving and Human Rights Day approach, I encourage you to devote five minutes to reading the brief essay and an hour to discussing it. If faculty could also encourage students to attend, that would be wonderful.

I look forward to our discussion on the 21st!

Joel Johnson

JOEL A. JOHNSON, Ph.D.
Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Associate Professor
Department of Government and International Affairs



9 December 2013 event

As we mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela, the great statesperson and peacemaker,
we also pause to reflect on the impact of his life and work on South Africa and the world.

Please join Dr. Joel Johnson, Associate Professor of Government and International Affairs and Chair of Moral Values,
Dr. John Pennington, Professor of Music,
Dr. Susan Hasseler, Academic Dean,
and Prosper Zongo, Senior English and Secondary Education major
as we engage in a panel discussion entitled
"Without democracy there cannot be peace: Nelson Mandela, South Africa and the world."
We will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 9 in the room 201 of the Madsen Center.

The event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Sue Hasseler, Joel Johnson, John Pennington and Prosper Zongo

Susan S. Hasseler, Ph.D
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College




Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2014 13:38:54 -0600
From: "Joel Johnson"
To: "Everyone Everyone" , "Emeriti"
Subject: CMV reading group--Larry Rasmussen

Colleagues:

As you know from Pastor Paul's Jan. 29 e-mail, Augustana will be hosting theological ethicist Larry Rasmussen on March 3 and 4. In preparation for that visit, a group of faculty and staff have been reading their way through Rasmussen's Earth-Honoring Faith (Oxford University Press, 2013). This is a long and important book, worthy of careful study.

However, for those of you who would like a quicker introduction to Rasmussen's ideas, I will be hosting three informal discussion sessions during February. Each will be devoted to discussing an article-length piece by Rasmussen, on themes similar to those in Earth-Honoring Faith.

Please feel free to come to any or all of the sessions. Everyone is invited, including students and those who have participated in the intensive Rasmussen reading group. Dates and texts are listed below.

Hope to see you there!

Joel Johnson
Chair of Moral Values

DISCUSSION #1: Wednesday, February 12 at 3:00 PM in MC 220.

TEXT: Larry Rasmussen, "An Earth-Honoring Faith," Sojourners, June 2010. Rasmussen Sojourners

DISCUSSION #2: Thursday, February 20 at 10:00 AM in MC 220.

TEXT: Larry Rasmussen, "Energy: The Challenges to and from Religion," Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, December 2011. Rasmussen Zygon

DISCUSSION #3: Friday, February 28 at 12:00 PM in MC 120 (Note room change.)

TEXT: Larry Rasmussen, "New Wineskins," Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, October 2011. Rasmussen Interpretation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOEL A. JOHNSON, Ph.D.
Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Associate Professor
Department of Government and International Affairs
Augustana College
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197

605-274-5319
joel.johnson@augie.edu

http://www.augie.edu/academics/government-and-international-affairs



Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 12:51:04 -0600
From: "Joel Johnson"
To: "Everyone Everyone" , "Emeriti"
Subject: "Inequality for All" documentary and discussion

Dear colleagues,

Augustana's Union Board of Governors is hosting a screening of the award-winning documentary "Inequality for All" on Thursday, February 20 at 4:00 PM in Kresge Recital Hall. Following the film, I will be moderating a discussion featuring Dr. Reynold Nesiba and Dr. Robert Wright. The event is free and open to the public, and I would encourage you (and your students) to attend.

For more information, please visit
Inequality for All

Best wishes,

Joel Johnson
Chair of Moral Values

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOEL A. JOHNSON, Ph.D.
Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Associate Professor
Department of Government and International Affairs
Augustana College
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197

605-274-5319
joel.johnson@augie.edu

http://www.augie.edu/academics/government-and-international-affairs



Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 12:31:22 -0600
From: "Joel Johnson"
To: "Everyone Everyone" , "Emeriti"
Subject: The Commandant of Lubizec--CMV reading group

Colleagues:

In recognition of April being Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, I invite you to participate in a Chair of Moral Values discussion of Dr. Patrick Hicks' acclaimed new novel, The Commandant of Lubizec. It is a powerful and chilling book, raising important questions about evil and human nature. A synopsis is included at the end of this message.

The book will be released on March 25. Copies may be pre-ordered online at www.randomhouse.com or www.amazon.com.

Please mark your calendars for the following:

-Thursday, April 10 at 10:00 AM in MC 220: Discussion of the first half of Commandant.
-Thursday, April 17 at 10:00 AM in MC 220: Discussion of the second half of Commandant.
-Tuesday, April 22 at 7:00 PM in Siverson Lounge: Public reading by Patrick Hicks.

All are welcome to attend. Please encourage your students to participate.

Joel Johnson


Synopsis from Random House:

After the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, they quickly began persecuting anyone who was Jewish. Millions were shoved into ghettos and forced to live under the swastika. Death camps were built and something called "Operation Reinhard" was set into motion. Its goal? To murder all the Jews of Poland.

The Commandant of Lubizec is a harrowing account of a death camp that never actually existed but easily could have in the Nazi state. It is a sensitive, accurate retelling of a place that went about the business of genocide. Told as a historical account in a documentary style, it explores the atmosphere of a death camp. It describes what it was like to watch the trains roll in, and it probes into the mind of its commandant, Hans-Peter Guth. How could he murder thousands of people each day and then go home to laugh with his children? This is not only an unflinching portrayal of the machinery of the gas chambers, it is also the story of how prisoners burned the camp to the ground and fled into the woods. It is a story of rebellion and survival. It is a story of life amid death.

With a strong eye towards the history of the Holocaust, The Commandant of Lubizec compels us to look at these extermination centers anew. It disquiets us with the knowledge that similar events actually took place in camps like Be?zec, Sobibór, and Treblinka. The history of Lubizec, although a work of fiction, is a chillingly blunt distillation of real life events. It asks that we look again at "Operation Reinhard". It brings voice to the silenced. It demands that we bear witness.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOEL A. JOHNSON, Ph.D.
Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Associate Professor
Department of Government and International Affairs
Augustana College
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197

605-274-5319
joel.johnson@augie.edu

http://www.augie.edu/academics/government-and-international-affairs



Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:53:28 -0500
From: "Joel Johnson"
To: "Everyone Everyone" , "Emeriti"
Subject: Hicks reading group and public reading


Colleagues,

A reminder that we will be discussing Patrick Hick's The Commandant of Lubizec over the next two weeks. Copies of the book are available online and at the Augie Bookstore.

I encourage you and your students to attend the following events:

-Thursday, April 10 at 10:00 AM in MC 220: Discussion of the first half of Commandant.
-Thursday, April 17 at 10:00 AM in MC 220: Discussion of the second half of Commandant.
-Tuesday, April 22 at 7:00 PM in Siverson Lounge: Public reading by Patrick Hicks.

Best,

Joel Johnson

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOEL A. JOHNSON, Ph.D.
Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Associate Professor
Department of Government and International Affairs
Augustana College
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197

605-274-5319
joel.johnson@augie.edu

http://www.augie.edu/academics/government-and-international-affairs



Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 12:53:28 -0500
From: "Joel Johnson"
To: "Everyone Everyone" , "Emeriti"
Subject: Sports Ethics Speaker May 5


Colleagues,

I've been able to arrange one final speaker for this year. Stephen Lautz, associate athletic director in the compliance unit at Auburn University, will be giving a talk at 2:00 PM on Monday, May 5 in HUM 123.

Stephen will be discussing various ethical dilemmas student athletes have been facing throughout the country. If you are interested in the ethical and legal aspects of NCAA athletics--or if you just happen to have strong feelings regarding Auburn--please come to Stephen's talk. If you could also help spread the word to students and student athletes, I would appreciate it.

If you would like Stephen to visit your class or team on Monday, let me know and we can arrange it.

Thanks for making room in your schedule at such a busy time!

Best wishes,

Joel Johnson

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JOEL A. JOHNSON, Ph.D.
Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Associate Professor
Department of Government and International Affairs
Augustana College
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197

605-274-5319
joel.johnson@augie.edu

http://www.augie.edu/academics/government-and-international-affairs


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