When: 2 p.m., Monday - Friday
Where: Hall of Philosophy
The 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture Series is designed to present issues that impact the lived experience of everyday life from theological, ethical, moral, humanitarian, philosophical and religious perspectives, and the Department of Religion thus continues its longstanding tradition that the lecture platform be interfaith both in focus and in selection of speakers.
In addition to the Institution’s commitment to Chautauqua’s signature Abrahamic Program focusing on the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, voices from the other great world’s religions are also invited to expand the reach. While proudly honoring its Christian roots, Chautauqua offers to the world a much needed example of what it means to live with and to respond to contemporary religious pluralism, and through its programs the Department of Religion demonstrates accordingly the perspective that inclusivity is always the mark of faithful religious life and teaching.
2013 Interfaith Lecture Themes
Updated Nov. 9, 2012
Week One — June 23–29
The history of the Universe is a both a scientific and a spiritual story. It is the scientific story of a 14 billion year continuum from a speck of pure energy to everything we can see around us. It is a spiritual story, one that transcends individual, human, and geo-political boundaries. This week will present a cosmological understanding of the universe, earth, and the human community that is now beginning to shape a vision that will foster the continuing emergence of a flourishing and spiritually-connected Earth community.
Week Two — June 30–July 6
What will the world of religion be like in the coming years for the 25 percent of the world’s population now under the age of 25? Will the growing distinction between religion and spirituality become more defining in the practice and living of values that shape the human experience for them? How will these distinctions affect community and family and life-cycle rituals for this generation? This week will bring young leaders from various faith perspectives to help us see into the future.
Week Three — July 7–13
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. One hundred and fifty years later, and fifty years after the March on Washington, how do we achieve true freedom for those whose lives remain in bondage to poverty, poor education, lack of jobs, and disparate access to health care? What are the ethical and spiritual directions for striving to ensure that all may be emancipated from these continuing inequalities?
Week Four — July 14–20
In a society burdened with inequalities, hard ethical questions arise concerning our civic virtue. What role should markets play in the social fabric of our communities and families, and in the way we provide healthcare and education, for example? In this week we will ask what opportunity, and perhaps what mandate for change, has the recent economic crisis revealed about economics as a value-neutral science.
Week Five — July 21–27
Everyone wants to be happy – the elusive state that sociology, biology, neurology, psychology, philosophy, history, and world religions all define uniquely. The goal of every religion is to help seekers everywhere learn to cultivate true and lasting happiness within themselves. In this week, practitioners from several of the world’s religions will offer understandings of happiness, representing the wisdom of the ages, which inform their lived traditions and make life worth living.
Week Six — July 28–August 3
Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior to the community as well as to the victim, and is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders, including the perpetrator. It is fundamentally different from retributive justice in that it puts energy into the future, not into what is past; into healing the victim, the community, and the perpetrator. This week will place the focus on what needs to be healed, what needs to be repaid to the victim and society, and what needs to be learned and changed in the wake of crime.
Week Seven — August 4–10
There is rarely a conflict on the world’s stage that, if not caused by, is at least exacerbated by deeply-held religious and cultural differences. Diplomacy, therefore, becomes the art and science of seeking to help peoples and nations to overcome crises and to live with their differences more harmoniously. This week shines a light on why religion and culture must be at the heart of diplomacy in the 21st century.
Week Eight — August 11–17
Recent archaeological finds have led some to believe that Turkey may have been the cradle of civilization. We know it to have a prominent position in Biblical history and to have provided a fertile womb for the birthing of Christianity. Orthodox Christianity took root in Turkey and was later supplanted as a majority by Islam, and Sufism within Islam was made known in Turkey by Rumi. This week we will discover why, while claiming to be a secular state, religion is still the heart of Turkey.
Week Nine — August 18–24
Week Nine is sponsored in part by