Challenge the mind, nurture the spirit

The mission of the Center for Spiritual Life is to challenge the mind, nurture the spirit and develop the talents of all those who utilize the services of the Center.

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Burchenal Lecture Series

Celebrating the 2019–20 College Program Series Theme:
Alone in the World? The Boundaries of Community

Man standing with arms folded

The Needs of Community and the Problems of Modern Government

John Russon, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy, University of Guelph, Toronto, Canada

Thursday, October 3, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Triton Room

In this presentation, Dr. John Russon will maintain that government is an essential structure for human communities because it is the institution by which a community determines its own values, goals and ways of accomplishing those goals. To this end, Russon will identify four problems in contemporary government that amount to ways in which the functioning of government actually undermines the communities it should be serving.

Group of young people standing around Gregory Boyle

The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness

Gregory Boyle, M.Div. Founder, Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles, California

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall

Father Gregory Boyle will share what he has learned during three decades of working with marginalized populations at Homeboy Industries—the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world: Love is the answer, community is the context and tenderness is the connective tissue. Tenderness reflects the foundational notion that there is no “us and them,” only “us.” Homeboy seeks to be what the world is invited to become. Kinship cannot happen without tenderness.

Previous Burchenal Lectures

  • Ecowomanism: African American Women and Earth Honoring Faiths
    Melanie L. Harris, Ph.D., Professor of Religion and Ethics, Texas Christian University; Visiting Professor of Ethical Leadership and Global Environmental Studies, University of Denver
    Thursday, March 28, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
  • Is This a Bonhoeffer Moment? Exploring Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Ethic of Responsible Action
    Lori Brandt Hale, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religion, Augsburg University
    Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Triton Room
  • A New and Unsettling Force: The Poor People’s Campaign and the Fight to End Poverty
    The Rev. Liz Theoharis, Ph.D, Presbyterian Minister, Social Activist and Writer
    Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
  • The World Is Wrong: Microaggressions, Poetics and the Problem of Evil in Citizen
    Daniel Spoth, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Literature, Eckerd College
    Thursday, September 20, 2018 – 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
  • Shaved Heads and Celibate Bodies: Gender and Freedom in Female Buddhist Monasticism
    Amy Paris Langenberg, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Eckerd College
    Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 7.30 p.m., Fox Hall