Burchenal Lecture Series

Celebrating the 2017–18 College Program Series Theme: Sense of Home

To End Hunger, Begin With Democracy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 – 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall

Frances Moore Lappé—author or co-author of 18 books about world hunger, living democracy, and the environment—will share her knowledge on the deep connection between a functioning democracy and a prosperous people. Her writing career started with the three-million-copies-sold Diet for a Small Planet in 1971 and has extended to her new book, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, co-authored with Adam Eichen (Beacon Press, Sept. 2017). Lappé received the Right Livelihood Award (considered an “Alternative Nobel Prize”) “for revealing the political and economic causes of world hunger and how citizens can help to remedy them.”
Sponsored by the Albert and Marie Roth Endowed Lecture Series on Peace and Justice and the Col. Christian L. and Edna M. March International Relations Lecture Series as part of the Presidential Events Series

What the End of White Christian America Means for Our Shared Sense of National Identity

Thursday, October 12, 2017 – 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall

Drawing on decades of social science research, Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute and author of The End of White Christian America, argues that today’s most divisive debates—over immigration, the rise of white supremacy groups, and police violence—can only be understood against the backdrop of demographic, religious, and cultural transformations that are challenging long-standing assumptions about what it means to be an American. If we are to continue to make one out of many, we will need both leadership and practices that can help us all step back from the reactivity of the present and take up the more arduous task of weaving a new national narrative in which all Americans can see themselves.
Part of the Presidential Events Series

The Wonder Paradox: Doubting Religion, Believing in Ritual and Poetry

Monday, November 6, 2017 – 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall

Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht—poet, historian, and commentator and author of the bestseller Doubt: A History—thinks we can keep familiar religious traditions we like, while adding some poetry that doesn’t clash with our beliefs to help humanity continue to cope and thrive. There have been religious doubt and disbelief for millennia, and now a recent Pew study shows that a full third of U.S. adults under 30 identify as having no religion. Today we associate atheism with science, but there is a robust history of nonreligious people living poetic lives. This talk is about that history and its future. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” sometimes, and we need to make a place in our lives for the unspeakably beautiful, the unbearable and the absurd—for wonder, and for the sublime paradox that we material beings are the source of all that wonder.
Part of the Presidential Events Series