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Sept. 12: “Wal-Mart, Evangelical Christianity and the Global Reality of Work”


Butler University's Center for Faith and Vocation Lectures Focusing on “Religion and the Corporation” kick off with the biggest corporation of them all ... Wal-Mart

When: Tuesday, September 12 7:00-9:00 PM

Where: Butler University, Krannert Room of Clowes Memorial Hall, 4600 Sunset Ave.

Two historians, Dr. Nelson Lichtenstein, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Dr. Arthur Farnsley II, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI, will discuss the world’s largest retailer’s roots in rural Arkansas and the resulting influence of evangelical Christian theology and culture on its business practices.

Lichtenstein has written widely about the labor and culture in America and is currently researching religion and work. He edited “Wal-Mart: The Face of 21st Century Capitalism,” (New Press, 2006) and contributed to the 2004 PBS Frontline documentary “Wal-Mart: Good for America?” He is frequently quoted in stories about "The Big Box," as he was recently in an LA Times story about the flak it has received from conservatives as it targets gay bargain-shoppers. You can get the chapter of his book here, "It came from Bentonville: The agrarian roots of Wal-Mart's culture," by Bethany Moreton... it's pretty good. A very different perspective about Wal-Mart defends the giant by dissing its critics. I hope the discussion at Butler goes beyond such a simplistic position.

Art Farnsley is the author of “Southern Baptist Politics” (Penn State University Press, 1994) and “Rising Expectations: Urban Congregations, Welfare Reform, and Civic Life” (Indiana University Press, 2003). Art is director of the important local organization, the American Values Alliance. If you are an Art Farnsley fan (and you should be), you will also want to check out his talk on the limits of free speech, part of My Daily Constitution.

This is not the first visit of Wal-Mart to Indybuzz, and it probably won't be the last.

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