Joanne Cummings, Baylor BIC Faculty and Adjunct Professor of Political Science
"Life as a female diplomat in the Middle East"
Joanne Cummings teaches in the BIC and in Political Science. She has also been instrumental in the development of an interfaith minor here at Baylor. A retired diplomat, her experience is wide-ranging. She was most recently the Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) to CJTF-OIR, based in Baghdad. She has also served extensively in the Middle East, North Africa, and East Africa
As the daughter of a diplomat, she was raised in Lebanon, lived in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, finished high school in Tehran, Iran, and graduated from university in Beirut, Lebanon before gaining an MA from the University of Texas at Austin. In the Department of State and in the private sector, she has worked in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jerusalem, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Ethiopia, and Micronesia as well as nine years working regionally from Morocco through Pakistan. Ms. Cummings was previously Deputy Chief of Mission in the Federated States of Micronesia. Among her earlier Foreign Service positions are Pol/Econ Section Chief, Refugee Coordinator, Economic Section Chief, POLAD (JSOC and MND-S), Political Officer, and Consular Officer. She speaks Arabic and French.
The J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies Spring 2024 Lunch Series
All lunches will be held in the McMullen Faculty Center, from 12:20 to 1:30. Seating is limited, so reservations are required. To reserve a spot, please email: Joyce_Swoveland@Baylor.edu.
Monday, February 12
Allison Brown, Graduate Student in Religion
Dawson Graduate Scholar
Allison Brown is a graduate student in Religion studying political resistance during the Reformation. Over the summer, and as the Dawson Graduate Scholar, she traveled to the UK and France to examine early modern political texts, exploring how personal, cultural, and religious contexts shaped Protestant interpretation, communication, and application of biblical narratives in their polemics against the perceived tyranny of Catholic rulers.
Monday, March 18
Drs. Mark Long and Charles McDaniel
Dr. Long is former associate director of the BIC and Dr. McDaniel is currently associate professor in the BIC program. As graduates of the Dawson Institute, Drs. Long and McDaniel have researched and published in the area of church-state and on issues of religious freedom. Currently, Dr. Long is writing on Christian nationalism and Dr. McDaniel on Reinhold Niebuhr. They will speak to the influence of the Institute on their own career journeys and scholarship.
Thursday, May 2:
Dr. Francis Beckwith
Dr. Beckwith is professor of philosophy and church-state studies as well as the former associate director of the Dawson Institute. His book Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith (Cambridge University Press) secured the American Academy of Religion’s 2016 Book Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the category of constructive-reflective Studies. A widely published scholar and author, he will engage the question “Why Is Religious Liberty Special?”