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Glazier to Serve as Keynote Speaker for Annual Cotham Lecture Series

Dr. Rebecca Glazier gives a presentation at UA Little Rock Downtown. Photo by Ben Krain.
Dr. Rebecca Glazier gives a presentation at UA Little Rock Downtown. Photo by Ben Krain.

Dr. Rebecca Glazier, a professor of public affairs at UA Little Rock, will serve as the keynote speaker for the upcoming Cotham Lecture Series.

Glazier will give two lectures, which are free and open to the public, at 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 10, at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church, 6400 Richard B. Hardie Dr, Little Rock. The lectures will be followed by a moderated question-and-answer session with Glazier.

The Dec. 9 lecture is entitled, “Faith and Community: How Engagement Helps Everyone.” Glazier will share key findings from her forthcoming book on how getting involved in the community contributes to greater individual well-being, healthier congregations, and stronger democracies.

As the director of the Little Rock Congregations Study, she has been researching faith-based community engagement in Little Rock for more than a decade and has a wealth of insights from statistics, interviews, and in-depth case studies to share.

The Dec. 10 lecture, entitled “Why and How Religion Can Lead on Race,” will bring together social science and faith-based perspectives to describe the imperative people and places of faith have to engage the topic of race relations.

“The Ralph Cotham V lectures were endowed in 1967 by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Cotham IV in memory of their late son,” said Reverend Robert Lowry, pastor and head of staff at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church. “The lectures are given each year featuring a scholar of religion, theology, or biblical studies. 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of Westover Hills Presbyterian Church and the 56th Cotham Lectures.”

Previous lecturers have included bestselling authors Rachel Held Evans and Amy Jill Levine, noted biblical scholars James Mays (Union Presbyterian Seminary), Robert Williamson (Hendrix College), and Eric Barreto (Princeton Seminary), and theologians Dietrich Ritschl (Pittsburgh Seminary) and Murdo Ewen McDonald (University of Glasgow, Scotland).

Glazier is the author of “Faith and Community: How Engagement Strengthens Members, Places of Worship, and Society,” which will be released by Temple University Press in 2024. She has twice won UA Little Rock’s highest award for research. This year, she was honored by the American Political Science Association with its Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement.