Prayers to Death and Dying: A Trivium of Sorts to a “Santa Muerte” Book of Devotions

Eduardo Garcia Villada

Associate Professor of Spanish, Drake University

Thursday, November 17, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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In this presentation, Prof García interprets the texts of Santa Muerte prayers through the study of their grammar, logic, and rhetoric and in relation to social factors in contemporary Mexico. This presentation also examines Christian and Aztec/Mexican views on life, death, and dying along with the dynamics of conqueror-conquered.

Garcia Villada’s research interests are in the areas of Spanish language proficiency assessment, and Latin American cultural studies in computer-assisted language learning environments. He has published his research in CALICO Journal, Hispania, Journal of Latinos and Education, and Critical Inquiry in Language Studies.

Video of the Lecture

Community Interfaith Dialogue

Moderator:Norma Hirsch
  • Norma Hirsch, Professor of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University
Panelists:
  • Eugene Kiruhura, pastor of the Urban Heights Covenant Church
  • Tanka Dhital, president of the Hindu Cultural and Educational Center
  • Nijaz Valjecvic, imam at Ezan Islamic and Educational Center

Thursday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.
Iles Funeral Homes, Dunn’s Chapel
2121 Grand Ave, Des Moines


Among other questions, the panel seeks to explore beliefs about what happens after death and practices concerning what must be done before and after death. Representatives of three different local refugee communities will explore these beliefs and practices from the perspectives of their religious traditions: Bhutanese Hinduism, Bosnian Islam, and Congolese Christianity. The panelists will focus particularly on the tensions between traditional theologies and rituals of death, and the way in which death has increasingly become the domain of medicine and law.

Audio of the Lecture:

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Audio of the Q&A:

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The Ritualization of Death: The Journey from the Living-living to the Living Dead in African Religions

Herbert Moyo

Director of the Practical Theology Programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Thursday, October 6, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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Dr. Herbert Moyo’s talk will address Ndebele theologies and rituals of death and dying, especially as these involve ongoing relationships with the ancestors. Moyo will focus on the ways in which the modern medicalization of life and death offer challenges to these traditional philosophies and practices.
Dr. Moyo teaches practical theology, religion and governance, and church leadership in the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Moyo’s research focuses on church and state relations in Africa, the relationship between traditional African religions and the Christian church, and coping with death and dying in Africa.
Response by Willy Mafuta, United Methodist minister and adjunct professor of religion

“A Time to Be Born, and a Time to Die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2): A Jewish View of the Modern Medical Complexities of Dying

Elliot Dorff

Elliot Dorff Rector 2011

Rector and Sol & Ann Dorff Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy, American Jewish University
Thursday, September 15, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center
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Dorff will be discussing how the medical and social features of contemporary societies make treating the dying much more morally fraught than it was in the past, and, given that, what the Jewish tradition can advise us on how to treat the dying not simply as patients, but as people worthy of respect.

Elliot Dorff is Rector and Distinguished Service Professor at American Jewish University and Visiting Professor at UCLA School of Law. He served on three federal commissions on matters of health care and now serves on a commissions on matters of health care and now serves on a commission for the State of California. He is the author of Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics.

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Embrace Aging: Aging and the Law

Denise HillhillDenise2

Director of Health Law Programs, Drake University Law School

Tuesday, June 21, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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Hill’s innovative use of health law simulations, learning communities, and other active learning strategies have been recognized by her selection as the Faculty Member of the Year three times. Hill maintains a part-time legal practice to stay in touch with the practice of law.
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Moderator: Anthony Carroll, AARP Iowa lobbyist, attorney, and Associate State Director for Advocacy

Carroll has served Iowa AARP since October 2005. Before joining AARP, he was the Voter Outreach Coordinator and State Legislative Liaison for the Iowa Secretary of State’s office and has practiced health and labor law.

Continuing education credit is available for nurses and other healthcare professionals who attend this event. It is approved by Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #302, HCI Care Services for 0.15 CEUs or 1.5 contact hours of continuing education.

Embrace Aging: Economic Security

DAVID STREGE16e2cd1

Managing Partner, Syverson & Strege Company

Tuesday, May 24, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University
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 A graduate of Drake University, Strege is an award-winning financial planning professional who exemplifies excellence and high standards in the field of financial planning and community service.
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Moderator: Mark Teigland, President and CEO, Calvin Community

Teigland’s healthcare management career began in 1987. He has been with Calvin Community since 2008 and has served as President and CEO since 2013. Mark is a licensed nursing home administrator, received his Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University, and his Law Degree from Drake University.

Video of the Lecture

Continuing education credit is available for nurses and other healthcare professionals who attend this event. It is approved by Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #302, HCI Care Services for 0.15 CEUs or 1.5 contact hours of continuing education.