Center for Global Study of Religion Welcomes Mel White

BUFFALO, NY - The Canisius College Joseph J. Naples ’41 Conversations in Christ & Culture Lecture and Performance Series presents Mel White on Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Grupp Fireside Lounge of the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center. White’s lecture is free and open to the public.

White is the former dean of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Dallas and served the Protestant evangelical Christian community for 30 years as a pastor, a professor at Fuller seminary, and ghostwriter for such powerful evangelical leaders as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Unbeknownst to his friends and colleagues, White was a gay man who was nearly driven to suicide after two decades of struggling to save his marriage and – he believed – his soul with “reparative therapies” including electric shock and exorcism.

White came out publicly in 1993 and wrote the memoir Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America. He also co-founded Soulforce, an organization that advocates for freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless non-violent resistance. White has since become internationally known for his advocacy for the rights of gays and lesbians. His efforts for justice for sexual minorities earned him the ACLU’s National Civil Liberties Award.

White is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post and has appeared in numerous documentaries. His newest book is Holy Terror: Lies the Christian Right Tells Us to Deny Gay Equality.

The Joseph J. Naples Conversations in Christ and Culture Lecture and Performance Series fosters conversations about important issues involving the relationship between Christianity and culture. It promotes cooperation and understanding across religious, gender and ethnic lines. The lecture series is sponsored by the Canisius College Institute for the Global Study of Religion (IGSOR) and the generosity of the ecumenical community of Western New York.

For more information, contact Timothy Wadkins, PhD, professor of religious studies and director of IGSOR, at 716-888-2824.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.