Upcoming Events


Sponsored by the Philosophy and Religion Society

on Wednesday

August 28th

at 6:30 PM in Bear 103

We welcome you to come get to know UNCW's Philosophy and Religion Department and Student Organization

PAR Society

2013-2014 Officers

President: Sara Sweeney (sks7836)
Vice President: Alex Koszelak (wak6302)
Treasurer: Evan Hayes (erh8401)
Secretary: Jackie Stevens (jcs4952)


The Rise and Fall of the Object

The denial of the passion versus the act of collecting material "stuff"

by Dr. Patricia Turrisi, Sept 12, 2011 Bear Hall 103


New officers for PAR Society for 2011-2012 Academic Year

President Dan McCluskey and Vice President Sophie Fuller; not pictured: Secretary Abby Watson and Communications Officer Patrick Sullivan

Out going and Incoming officers for PAR Society

L to R - Dan McCluskey, incoming president, Sophie Fuller, incoming vice-president, Josh Hollamon outgoing web master, Kristen Wells, outgoing vice-president, and Jermey Smyczek outgoing president.



2011 EVENTS:

Continental Drift: Undergraduate Philosophy and Religion Conference

Hosted by the UNCW Philosophy and Religion Society (UNCW PARS)

At the University of North Carolina at Wilmington

April 9, 2011

Keynote address on Foucault, Hadot, and Spiritual Exercises by Dr. Thomas R. Flynn, PhD, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor (Emory University)



Was Yoda Buddhist? Does “the force” in the Star Wars Trilogy represent many Eastern religions’ idea of karma? 

These quandaries and more will be discussed at “Continental Drift: An Undergraduate Philosophy and Religion Conference” on Saturday, April 9 at UNC Wilmington’s Fisher Student Center and University Union. Hosted by the UNCW student Philosophy and Religion Society and sponsored by the Student Government Association, the event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required. The conference begins at 9 a.m. and lasts throughout the day. 

More than 30 undergraduate students will present in concurrent panels on a gamut of topics, including the existence of a Christian heaven, animal rights and the virtue of care. Although nearly half the presenters are affiliated with UNCW, others hail from across the country, from New York to California. 

“For a first-year conference, we have an excellent turn-out,” said Jeremy Smyczek, president of the UNCW Philosophy and Religion Society. “We’re hoping to exchange some ideas with each other and people from other schools, and to establish a tradition that future members of the club can take and run with.” 

For more information about the event and a conference schedule, please visitwww.uncw.edu/par/news-society.html. Media are invited to attend and cover the event. Interviews with student organizers and presenters can be arranged. 

Media Contact: 
Lindsay Key, media research assistant, 540.520.2906, or ltk6081@uncw.edu 


Submission guidelines:           

Undergraduates are encouraged to submit philosophy or religion studies abstracts of 300 words or fewer describing any topic for presentation, to be emailed to uncwpars2011@gmail.com. This is an open-topic conference and all abstracts showing sufficient merit will be considered. Presentations based on the abstracts should be planned for 15-20 minutes. The submission deadline is Friday, March 4, 2011. Students seeking publication in a possible conference proceedings journal should additionally submit electronic copies of papers of up to 3500 words, not including references, by the April 9th conference date. Students not seeking publication need not include accompanying papers.

Abstracts should be prepared for blind refereeing, but should include the following information:

  • Full name
  • Name of university
  • Email address
  • Title of presentation
  • A 300-word description of the presentation’s argument.
  • Any technology requests for presentations. Attendees will provide their own laptop computers if required.


Email a copy of your abstract as an attachment in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format to uncwpars2011@gmail.com. Title your document: LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME. Contact UNCW PARS President Jeremy Smyczek at jps0869@uncw.edu for additional information.

Panels and Workshops

Panel proposals featuring up to three presenters on any topic in philosophy or religion studies are welcome. Proposals should specify issues to be discussed, format (including time to be allotted), and names of presenters, and should include a brief abstract of the presentation following all previously stated guidelines.


Sessions will take place at the Fisher Student Center and Fisher University Union at UNCW. For those travelling by air, Wilmington has its own airport (ILM) and is roughly two hours by car from the Raleigh-Durham airport (RDU).


There will be a $50 prize for best overall presentation, as judged by panel moderators.


Information about UNCW PARS and periodic updates about the conference can be found at our Facebook group: search UNCW PAR Society. Notification of acceptance will be sent shortly after the March deadline.  Authors who cannot be contacted via email will be rejected.

PAR Students attend North Carolina Philosophical Society conference in Boone, NC

Keith Cormier, Thomas Duncan, Joshua Hollamon, Kristen Wells, Mohamed Abdelrazig, Crystal Groover, Holly Craddock, Dr. Heath White and Dr. Scott James (photographer)

Friday January 28th Bear 103 4:00 P.M.

Dr. Eshleman will speak about transparency of information in light of the recent Wikileaks fiasco.

Show up at 3:30 if you are interested in being an officer in Fall 2011



We are a club that was created at UNCW by students that is dedicated to the study of philosophy, religion and any other scholarly field. We meet bi-weekly in Bear Hall date and time to be determined. At our meetings we discuss scholarly topics from all fields of study, help tutor one another and create a social network to help each other enjoy "college life". In addition to that we also sponsor/attend debates and from time to time even show up to debates that we are not invited to. We are a fun loving laid back group of people who have a love for the difficult questions in life that are hard to face.


President: Jeremy Smyczek

Vice President:  Kristen Wells

Treasurer:  Rachel Poole

Secretary:  Shaun Colley

Webmaster:  Josh Hollamon


PAR Society Events for 2010

August 31                                                                                                                 Parody Religions

During our first meeting of the semester we will discuss the reality of satirical faiths such as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Order of the Jedi.  The meeting will start with a brief overview of several such parody faiths (presented by our fearless leader and new club president, Jeremy Smyczek).  We will then go on to explore what makes these faiths real or false, whether they can be seriously, and whether they have a place in our society.


September 14                                                                                                         Skeptical Scenario

Popularized in films such as Inception and The Matrix, skeptical scenarios involve the recurring philosophical dilemma that all of our senses could be misleading us and the possibility that we may occupy a world totally unlike the one we imagine ourselves to be in.  What if you are, in fact, a brain floating in a jar that receives electrical stimulation that only gives the impression of sense experience?  Perhaps you are trapped in a perpetual and vivid dream? How could you ever know?  This is a question that has puzzled philosophers for over 2,500 years, and one that continually finds expression in the popular imagination.


September 28                                                                                       Is America a Christian Nation?

Faith seems to be one of the most integral components of politics in our days.  Certain newspapers love to run headlines about the faith practices of top politicians, from the 'prayer-heavy' George W. Bush to his successor Obama's tolerance for the Muslim community.  Christine O'Donnell has drawn plenty of attention herself, even though she is only a candidate for a US senate seat (Delaware). This evening we bring in our very own Dr. Conser to speak with us concerning whether America is truly a Christian nation from a historical standpoint.


October 12                                                                                 End Times Prophecy with Dr. Zervos

Apocalyptic and end-of-the-world scenarios are a part of our current society, with December 21 2012 set as the newest date for the end of the world.  The event is being widely publicized in the mass media and the apocalypse is the subject of intense sermonizing by a vast assortment of faith-groups.  Join us Tuesday as we bring our esteemed department chair Dr. George Zervos to speak on the subject.

This presentation will include the long history of this phenomenon dating to its start in Hellenistic Judaism, its perpetuation in Christianity and Islam, and a discussion of the reasons for its longevity in spite of the repeated frustration of the perennial “prophets of doom.”  We will conclude with a conversation on the great significance of the apocalyptic phenomenon.


October 26                                                                                                                 Human Sacrifice

The concept of human sacrifice as a necessary part of religious experience is shared across time and geography by groups that never had interactions.  During this meeting, PARS vice president Rachel Poole will explore this cultural phenomenon, touching on groups such as the Aztecs, ancient Mesopotamian Biblical interpretations, and the modern day cult of Kali in India.  Discussion will follow.


November 9                                                                                                        Diwali Hindu Festival


November 16                                                                                                                    Food Ethics

2009 - 2010 PAR Society Officer

President: Alexander Elfner

Vice President: Shaun Colley

Secretary: Garrison Libbey

Treasurer: Rachel Poole

Webmaster: Jon Flynn

PAR Society Meeting 2008-2009

Par Society meeting in attendance:

Ben Skinner, Kate Collins, Shaun Colley, Garrison Libby, Jamal Crighton, Ana Jernigan,

Jennifer Norris, Bryan Hendershot, Alex Elfner, Brandon Tinklenberg, President

and Dr. Matt Eshleman, Advisor

2008 - 2009 PAR Society Officers

Brandon Tinklenberg, President

Corey Blackburn, Vice-President

Alexandra Elfner, Secretary

Chason Huggins, Treasurer/Activities Coordinator

Faculty Advisor:   Dr. Matthew Eshleman

2007 - 2008 PAR Society Officers

President, Josh Bolick
Vice President, Vinny Conti
Secretary, Brandon Tinklenberg
Treasurer, Mary von Aue


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