Brent SmithThe end of religion has been heralded across time and culture since the 1600s, and now, in the academic study of religion, it can be heard again. But, this declaration is different and the meanings it has for spiritual communities and traditions of spiritual expression are critical to understand in the 21st century.

Dr. Brent A. Smith was born and raised in Richmond, Indiana, graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from Hanover College in 1976, from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago with a Masters of Arts degree in 1983, and with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School in 1984. Dr. Smith was ordained and began serving his first UU congregation in Milwaukee in 1983, and has served congregations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. He re-launched the periodical, “The UU Voice,” was a writer, producer, and on-screen talent for Faith in the Free Church for the Faith and Values Network, wrote the ROOTS curricula for new members, the BRANCHES small group program, and was one of the founders of the Conference of the Free Church, which introduced the concept of “Covenant” back into the UU lexicon in the 1990s. In August 2010 he accepted an invitation to join the faculty of Grand Valley State University where he teaches in the newly formed Religious Studies program. Dr. Smith lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Pat, the Deputy University Counsel at GVSU.

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