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Released October 7, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- A guest lecture in honor of Dr. John Nau, founding professor of the Department of Philosophy of Religion at The University of Southern Mississippi, will be presented at 4 p.m., Oct. 22, in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 203, on campus.

Dr. Richard Creel, past chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Ithaca College in New York, will present "How to Have Your Faith and Doubt It, Too."

"The lecture is an opportunity to listen to a professional philosopher address a topic of widespread interest and to join in discussion of the issues he raises," said Dr. David Holley, chair of the Southern Miss department.

The department also is using the occasion to rededicate the John F. Nau Conference Room, originally located and dedicated in 2002 on the second floor of the Liberal Arts Building. The room was subsequently moved to a more spacious facility on the third floor in 2003.

"During the 2003-04 academic year, the former College of Liberal Arts and College of The Arts were united into the College of Arts and Letters, resulting in a move of several offices," Holley said. "We are using the occasion of the Creel lecture as a rededication of this room and inviting the public to view the new facility after the lecture."

Nau, who died in 2001 at the age of 90, taught in the Southern Miss department for 26 years. Chair of the department from 1955 to 1972, Holley said Nau was particularly interested in topics in theology and philosophy of religion. "This lecture is our way of honoring him," Holley said.

A native Mississippian, Creel earned a B.A. at Millsaps College in Jackson, a M.Div. at Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University. He taught at Ithaca College for 30 years but retired two years ago in Biloxi.

Creel has published numerous articles and books on topics in philosophy of religion, with special interests in questions regarding the nature of God, arguments for the existence of God, and questions regarding the nature of knowledge in general.

At the 2002 room dedication, the department set up the John Nau Endowment Fund to provide scholarships for students in philosophy and religion. Contributions to this fund may be made through the USM Foundation by calling (601) 266-5922.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Department of Philosophy and Religion at (601) 266-4518


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November 23, 2004 9:23 AM