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Staley speaker to delve further into incarceration in U.S.

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – James Logan will continue the discussion on the U.S. prison industrial complex that Rosemary Harris Lytle began at Bethel College several weeks ago.

Logan, associate professor of religion and associate professor and director of African and African-American studies at Earlham College, Richmond, Ind., will give this year’s Staley Lectures at Bethel.

His first presentation will be Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of Bethel College Mennonite Church, and his second will be Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium, during a Bethel convocation. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

The topic of the Feb. 21 lecture is “The Prison Industrial Complex in Civil Society” and of the Feb. 22 lecture, “Racism and the ‘Criminal Justice’ System.”

Logan was born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx. He has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology/pre-law from Goshen (Ind.) College and a Master of Arts in theology and ethics from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. He earned his Ph.D. in religion and society from Princeton Seminary.

At Earlham, Logan’s areas of teaching and research cover religious, philosophical and social ethics; religion and law; constructive Christian theologies; Black religion; theories of religion; and the relationships among religion, ethics and politics in civil/public life.

A sampling of his courses includes Is Religion “T(t)rue”?; History of African-American Religious Experience; Introduction to African-American Studies; Criminal Justice and Moral Vision; Religion and Culture of Hip Hop; “Human Nature” and Social Change; Text Seminar: Native American Religion/s; and Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies in Religion.

Logan is the author of  Good Punishment?: Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment (Eerdmans, 2008).

The Staley Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series was established in 1969, named for its benefactors, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Staley of New York, who set it up to honor their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Staley and Mr. and Mrs. H.H. Haynes. Bethel College has been hosting Staley Lectures periodically since 1972.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the 2012-13 analysis of premier colleges and universities in the United States and ranks in the top five “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2012-13. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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