For Immediate Release
COLORADO SPRINGS , Colo. – Feb. 24, 2006 – Colorado College will celebrate its second annual Faith Week, March 6-10, with a variety of events, including a peace rally, the dedication of a new labyrinth and presentations by a renowned political activist and a theologian.
Colorado College President Richard F. Celeste will place the final stone in the center of the 60-foot diameter labyrinth, located outdoors on the northwest side of Shove Memorial Chapel, during a brief ceremony at noon, Wednesday, March 8.
Colorado College’s 11-circuit labyrinth is a medieval Chartres-style, named for the labyrinth in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France. It is made of tumbled pavers in two colors – one color for the path, another for the “line” between the paths – and the entrance is on the east side of the perimeter so that one enters facing the Rocky Mountains.
The theme of this year’s Faith Week is “Where Are We Going?” During the week, members of the Colorado College community will explore the directions faith is taking on the CC campus, in the United States and in the world. A variety of speakers, panels and discussions are planned, including talks by Dr. Mary Doak, a professor of theology at Notre Dame University, and by peace activist Kathy Kelly, who was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Doak will discuss different religious perceptions of the end-times at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, in Gaylord Hall, located inside the Worner Center at 902 N. Cascade Ave. She has written extensively on feminist and black theology, eschatology (systems of doctrines concerning the last, or final, matters) and political theology. Some of her recent articles include “A Brief, Liberal, Catholic Defense of Abortion” and “Hope, Eschatology, and Public Life.” She also is the author of the book “Reclaiming Narrative for Public Theology,” published in 2004.
Kelly, a founder of Voices in the Wilderness, a group that tried to end U.S.- and United Nations-led sanctions against Iraq, will discuss peace and different religious traditions at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, in the Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave.
Kelly has led more than 70 delegations to Iraq, visiting that country more than 22 times since January 1996. She is also the founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and was sentenced to one year in prison in 1988 for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites. She was awarded the Newberry Library Free Speech Award in 1998 and the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award in 1999.
Kelly is the author of "Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison," in which she recounts Iraqi trips, the story of the School of the Americas and describes daily life inside Pekin Federal Prison, where she was sent in the spring of 2004 for leading a protest at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga.
The week will kick off with a peace rally from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, March 6, outside Worner Campus Center. The rally will include readings of peace-oriented prose and poetry from different faiths, music by campus a cappella groups, a chalk art contest and T-shirt sales. Additional events throughout the week include student-led panel discussions, readings of classic spiritual literature and discussions of personal issues of faith.
Faith Week allows the various spiritual groups on campus to join together to discuss their unique traditions and common ties. The dedication of the labyrinth is symbolic of unity. Linda Madden, manager of Shove Memorial Chapel, says the labyrinth is part of the canon of archetypal symbolic circles of meaning, including wholeness, unity and the divine center in cultures around the globe and in every period from prehistory to the present. Transcending spiritualities from pagan to Christian to Native American, the labyrinth is uniquely suited to unify a diverse population such as the community at Colorado College.
Madden notes that a labyrinth is not a maze. Labyrinths are “unicursal,” meaning they have a single path. Once in the labyrinth, the walker needs only follow the path in order to arrive at the center. “Mazes involve many paths, forcing the walker to make choices of which path to take and possibly getting lost or dead-ended,” Madden says. “In a maze you lose your way; in a labyrinth you find your way.”
The labyrinth can be walked at any pace, alone or with others, on ordinary days or special occasions. Often the path seems to be nearing the center, only to turn back to the outside edge. Madden says an “average” walk might take from 20 to 30 minutes. Every walk involves three distinct stages:
“With its constant turns, it speaks the language of movement and is a metaphor for life. If you pay attention to how you are walking, you can learn a great deal about how you live,” says Madden.
All Faith Week events are free and open to the public. For more information, directions or disability accommodation, members of the public should call (719) 389-6607.
About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts and sciences college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,960 students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>.