Hall of Philosophy

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The Hall of Philosophy at Chautauqua Institution was designed by Buffalo architects, Green & Wicks in 1906. During the Chautauqua season, it is used for small lectures, often with question-and-answer sessions. The brick walk leads to Bestor Plaza in one direction and the Ravine in the other.
2019 Themes and Programming
Review the themes and programming for the 2019 Summer Assembly Season at Chautauqua here www.chq.org/2019 or click on the "INFO" button below. It won't be Chautauqua without you.

Vespers 5pm Mondays at the Hall of Philosophy
Cast in a vesper format at the close of the day and bookended by the beloved hymns "Day Is Dying in the West" and "Now the Day Is Over", these services combine the musical gifts of one of the world's largest singing congregations with the 125-voice Chautauqua Choir, all led by the 5,640 pipes of the Massey Memorial Organ. Many styles of music from the past five hundred years are presented, and a special feature is the inclusion of scriptural and devotional readings and prayers carefully selected to reflect each week's theme. Since 1907, every Sacred Song Service has closed with the playing of "Largo" from George Frederick Handel's opera Xerxes, a beloved custom which has been a vital part of the Chautauqua Experience for many, many people over the years. All services begin at 8 p.m. and last approximately one hour.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Laurie L. Patton    Hall of Philosophy
Laurie L. Patton is the 17th president of Middlebury and the first woman to lead the institution in its 218-year history. She is a leading authority in South Asian history and culture, and the author or editor of eleven books in these fields. She has also translated the ancient Hindu text, The Bhagavad Gita, for Penguin Classics Series, and is the author of three books of poetry—the last book, House Crossing, just published in 2018. Dr. Patton began her career at Bard College, where she was assistant professor of Asian religions from 1991 to 1996. From 1996 to 2011 she served on the faculty and administration at Emory University, where she was the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Religions and the inaugural director of Emory’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in the Office of the Provost. While at Emory she served as chair of the religion department from 2000 to 2007. Professor Patton then served as the Durden Professor of Religion and Duke University Dean of Arts & Sciences until 2015. At Duke she oversaw 36 academic departments and programs in arts and sciences for the school, which awards 80 percent of Duke’s bachelor degrees. Patton also oversaw Trinity’s $435 million commitment to the “Duke Forward” campaign. Laurie Patton believes in building a stronger and more resilient public sphere and in fostering increased opportunities for informed discussion and debate about today’s most challenging issues. Early in her leadership, she launched the first institution-wide discussion on Middlebury’s intellectual direction, Envisioning Middlebury, to help inform Middlebury’s new strategic direction, which was approved in late 2017. Also in her first years as Middlebury’s president, Patton’s team has initiated in numerous programs to strengthen the relationship between campuses in Middlebury, VT., and Monterey, California; raised over 40M in financial aid scholarships; inaugurated several new programs focusing on inclusivity on campus; and created a new environmental goal after Middlebury achieved carbon neutrality in 2016. From 2008 to 2011, she served as president of the American Society for the Study of Religion, and in 2018-19, she will be the president of the American Academy of Religion, an 8000 member scholarly society for the study of religion. In April, 2018, she was elected to be a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, as a leader in two fields—religion/philosophy and education.
Chautauqua Dialogues
Join us Fridays at 3:30 on a porch at one of the religious houses to discuss the Department of Religion talks that occurred at The Hall of Philosophy. Sign-ups take place after the 2 pm lecture at the Hall of Philosophy Tuesday thru Thursday, or until the event is filled.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Amy Laura Hall    Hall of Philosophy
Amy Laura Hall is the Duke University Divinity School Associate Professor of Christian Ethics. She received her BA from Emory University and her MDiv and PhD degrees from Yale University. Professor Hall was named a Luce Fellow in Theology for 2004-2005, and has received funding from the Lilly Foundation, the Josiah Trent Memorial Foundation, the American Theological Library Association, the Child in Religion and Ethics Project, the Pew Foundation, and the Project on Lived Theology. She has served on the steering committee of the Genome Ethics, Law, and Policy Center and as a faculty member for the FOCUS program of the Institute on Genome Sciences and Policy. Having served as a faculty adviser with the Duke Center for Civic Engagement and as a faculty advisor for the NCCU-Duke Program in African, as well as in the African American & Diaspora Studies, she currently teaches with and serves on the faculty advisory board for Graduate Liberal Studies, and also as a core faculty member of the Focus Program in Global Health. Dr. Hall serves as an elder in the Rio Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her community service includes Labor Sabbath, an effort with the AFL-CIO of North Carolina to encourage congregations of faith to talk about labor unions, and, from August 2013 to December 2017, she wrote a monthly column for The Herald-Sun in Durham, N.C. Professor Hall organized a conference against torture in 2011 titled “Toward a Moral Consensus against Torture,” and a “Conference against the Use of Drones in Warfare” October 20-21, 2017. In collaboration with the North Carolina Council of Churches, she organized a workshop with legal scholar Richard Rothstein held in October 2018. Dr. Hall is the author of four books: Kierkegaard and the Treachery of Love; Conceiving Parenthood: The Protestant Spirit of Biotechnological Reproduction; Writing Home with Love: Politics for Neighbors and Naysayers; and Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich. Her articles include “The Single Individual in Ordinary Time: Theological Engagements in Sociobiology,” which was a keynote lecture given with Kara Slade at the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics in 2012, and “Torture and American Television,” published in the April 2013 issue of Muslim World, a volume that Hall guest-edited with Daniel Arnold. “His Eye Is on the Sparrow: Collectivism and Human Significance” appeared in a 2016 volume titled Why People Matter with Baker Publishing. Her new essay on Kierkegaard and love will appear in The T&T Clark Companion to the Theology of Kierkegaard, to be published by Bloomsbury T&T Clark. Her book, Laughing at the Devil, was chosen for the 2019 Virginia Festival of the Book. Professor Hall continues work on a longer research project on masculinity and gender anxiety in mainstream, white evangelicalism.
Interfaith Lecture Series: James Fallows    Hall of Philosophy
A national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows is co-creator, with his wife Deborah, of the publication’s American Futures project. For the last six years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane and reporting on the people, organizations, and ideas re-shaping the country. As part of their City Makers: American Futures project in partnership with The Atlantic and Marketplace, the Fallowses visited smaller and medium-sized cities, meeting civic leaders, factory workers, recent immigrants, and young entrepreneurs to take the pulse and understand the prospects of places that usually draw notice only after a disaster or during a political campaign. The Fallowses’ book, Our Towns, is the story of their journey — and an account of a country busy remaking itself, despite the challenges and paralysis of national politics. London-based national correspondent James Fallows has written for The Atlantic since the late 1970s, living and reporting in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter and two years as the editor of US News & World Report. James Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series “Doing Business in China.” He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. He is the author of numerous books, including Breaking the News: How the Media Undermines American Democracy and China Airborne; as well as Blind Into Baghdad and Postcards From Tomorrow Square, which are based on his writings for The Atlantic.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Judy Shepard and James Fallows    Hall of Philosophy
Judy Shepard In October 1998, Judy and Dennis Shepard lost their 21 year-old son, Matthew, to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate. Matthew’s death moved many thousands of people around the world to attend vigils and rallies in his memory. Determined to prevent others from suffering their son’s fate, Judy and Dennis decided to turn their grief into action and established the Matthew Shepard Foundation to carry on Matthew’s legacy. The Foundation is dedicated to working toward the causes championed by Matthew during his life: social justice, diversity awareness & education, and equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Judy Shepard is the founding president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board of Directors, and served as its first executive director as well, from 1999 to 2009. In her continuing role as board president, she travels across the nation speaking to audiences about what they can do as individuals and communities to make this world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. Speaking from a mother’s perspective, Judy also authored a 2009 memoir, “The Meaning of Matthew,” exploring the family’s journey through the prosecution of Matthew’s assailants, the ensuing media coverage, and their continuing work to advance civil rights. Originally trained as a teacher, Mrs. Shepard holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wyoming where she later pursued some post-graduate studies. James Fallows A national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows is co-creator, with his wife Deborah, of the publication’s American Futures project. For the last six years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane and reporting on the people, organizations, and ideas re-shaping the country. As part of their City Makers: American Futures project in partnership with The Atlantic and Marketplace, the Fallowses visited smaller and medium-sized cities, meeting civic leaders, factory workers, recent immigrants, and young entrepreneurs to take the pulse and understand the prospects of places that usually draw notice only after a disaster or during a political campaign. The Fallowses’ book, Our Towns, is the story of their journey — and an account of a country busy remaking itself, despite the challenges and paralysis of national politics. London-based national correspondent James Fallows has written for The Atlantic since the late 1970s, living and reporting in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter and two years as the editor of US News & World Report. James Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series “Doing Business in China.” He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. He is the author of numerous books, including Breaking the News: How the Media Undermines American Democracy and China Airborne; as well as Blind Into Baghdad and Postcards From Tomorrow Square, which are based on his writings for The Atlantic.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Dr. Carol Meyers    Hall of Philosophy
Dr. Carol Meyers is the Mary Grace Wilson Professor Emerita of Religion at Duke University. Teaching at Duke since 1977, she writes, teaches, lectures, and publishes widely in the areas of biblical studies, archaeology, and the study of women and gender in the biblical world. A prolific scholar, she is the author of more than 450 articles, reports, reference-book entries, and reviews; and she has authored, co-authored, or edited twenty-two books. Her 2013 book, Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context, is a landmark study of women in ancient Israelite society. Other recent books include a commentary on the book of Exodus and several excavation reports (with Eric Meyers). Among her co-edited volumes are Archaeology, Bible, Politics, and the Media (2012) and The Bible in the Public Square (2014). As a field archaeologist, Meyers has been a staff member or co-director of numerous archaeological projects in Israel. She has been a frequent consultant for media productions relating to archaeology and the Bible, including A&E’s Mysteries of the Bible series, DreamWorks’s “Prince of Egypt,” and Nova’s “The Bible’s Buried Secrets.” She has also served on the editorial boards of many reference works and journals and was a senior editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. She is currently a trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research and Vice-President of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation, and recently served as President of the Society of Biblical Literature. Described as "one of today's leading historians and field archeologists," Dr. Meyers’ 1988 book, Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context, was the "first comprehensive effort to present a female-centered view of the Bible using historical rather than literary criticism." Dr. Meyers holds a B.A. with honors from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Eric Meyers    Hall of Philosophy
Dr. Eric M. Meyers is an archaeologist who has directed digs in Israel and Italy for forty years, and is perhaps best known for his 1981 discovery of the oldest Ark from ancient Israel, which coincided with the film, The Raiders of the Lost Ark. He currently is completing publication work on the site of Sepphoris, near Nazareth, capital of the Galilee in the time of Jesus and the place where the Mishnah was compiled under the leadership of Rabbi Judah the Prince. National Geographic Television featured the Sepphoris mosaic discovery in November 1989, with Dr. Meyers as narrator. A full-length documentary of the dig, The Mona Lisa of Galilee, has been produced by Biblical Productions, Ltd. of Israel and has appeared on TV worldwide. Dr. Meyers also served as a principal consultant for WNET's award-winning series, Civilization and the Jews, and was part of the original planning group that conceptualized the show. He also served as academic advisor and on-screen host for a 1993 film on the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Enigma of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dr. Meyers and his wife, Dr. Carol Meyers, have appeared frequently on the A&E Channel in the series Mysteries of the Bible. Dr. Meyers served as on-screen consultant and advisor to the PBS Frontline show From Jesus to Christ. He appeared on the BBC/Discovery Channel series on the historical Jesus, Son of Man, and also appeared on a History Channel special on Masada, and with the History Channel on a special on the James Ossuary controversy in the spring of 2003. He recently filmed with the BBC/Discovery Channel in Jerusalem for the TV film, “‘Jesus’ Family Tree,” and on a History Channel special on “Canon” in Scripture. He also served as an advisor and on-screen expert for the NOVA special, “The Bible’s Buried Secrets.” Dr. Meyers has also appeared with National Geographic in several shows on topics relating to Second Temple Judaism and the archaeology of the Land of Israel. Eric M. Meyers is a graduate of Dartmouth College, holds an M.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and received the Ph.D. with distinction from Harvard University in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, specializing in Bible, Jewish History, and archaeology. He served as Professor since 1979 on the faculty of Duke University, presently serving there as Bernice and Morton Lerner Emeritus Professor of Judaic Studies and Archaeology. He served as Director of the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke; was instrumental in the founding of the Cooperative Program in Judaic Studies at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, serving as Director until 1987, and as Director of The Center for Judaic Studies at Duke. Other significant positons he has held include Director of the W. F. Albright School of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem; First Vice President for Publications of the American Schools of Oriental Research; editor of the prestigious and award-winning magazine, Biblical Archaeologist; associate editor of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research; President of the American Schools; and Director of the Annenberg Research Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Meyers has been a fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University, and at Princeton University; a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton Theological Seminary; a visiting Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Williams College, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universtät, Frankfurt am Main; in Judaic Studies at the Free University of Berlin; and at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome with his wife Carol in spring of 2017. Recognized with numerous awards and honors, Dr. Meyers has authored or co-authored 15 books, edited 20 others, and has published approximately 370 scholarly papers, reports, and reviews in the field of Hebrew Bible and Biblical Archaeology and Jewish History. Some of his recent works have been co-authored with his wife Carol. He served as editor-in-chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology of the Near East (5 vols.), and as co-author of the Cambridge Companion to the Bible. Active in many learned societies, including the Association of Jewish Studies, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, and the Archaeological Institute of America, he is also active in the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina, serving as President, as well as a singer in and member of the Board of Directors of the Triangle Jewish Chorale.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Rev. Elaine D. Thomas    Hall of Philosophy
Rev. Elaine D. Thomas, M.S. has worked in the metaphysical field for 49 years as a medium, healer, spiritual counselor, and teacher, primarily at the Lily Dale Assembly in Western New York, founded in 1879, the world's original and largest Center for the Religion of Spiritualism. Elaine was a student of Rev. Edith Sandy Wendling, renowned medium and teacher, who herself was a student of Sir Arthur and Lady Conan Doyle. Elaine received training that was rich in the traditions of Spiritualism’s foremost early thinkers. Ordained in 1974, as a Spiritualist minister, her commitment as a student of spiritual truth is an ongoing process. In 1988, Elaine co-founded and became co-director of the School of Spiritual Healing and Prophecy in Cassadaga, NY, located next to Lily Dale. In 1975, Elaine completed her undergraduate program in education at the University of Buffalo. Her seven years of teaching as a Reading Specialist in public schools gave Elaine experience in developing creative educational strategies, based upon the individual needs and abilities of her students. This led her to create an educational environment where students of all ages could again become aware of their spiritual gifts and how to use them every day for themselves and others. In 1981, Elaine completed her Master’s degree in counseling at Canisius College, in Buffalo, NY. She focused her studies on grief counseling, and her personal experience with the transformative gifts that mediumship and spiritual healing can bring to all. Elaine has been a guest on TV and radio, including the Oprah Network’s Beyond Belief and the HBO movie No One Dies in Lily Dale. www.revelainethomas.com
Interfaith Lecture Series: Adam Jortner    Hall of Philosophy
Adam Jortner, Goodwin-Philpott Professor of History at Auburn University, is a specialist in the early American republic, with particular emphasis on religion and politics. In 2019, he will complete a series of lectures for Audible, entitled God and the Founding Fathers. This series of twelve lectures on the religions of Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and others addresses longstanding myths and realities about faith and the American founding. His first book, The Gods of Prophetstown (Oxford, 2012), chronicled the rise and fall of the Shawnee Prophet Tenskwatawa. Gods tells the history of a virtual Native American state within the boundaries of territorial Indiana—a state complete with a border, a capital, and a national religion. The story of this forgotten place and religion formed the backdrop and central story of the otherwise-incomprehensible War of 1812. Gods won the 2013 James Broussard Prize from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic for the best first book on U.S. History. His second blood, Blood from the Sky: A Political History of American Miracles (Virginia, 2017), provided a history of the theology of miracles and their political use in America. Blood from the Sky was based on over ten years’ research and includes significant revisions of the standard histories of Shakers, Native American prophets, and Mormons. Choice Reviews declared that “by vividly illustrating the breadth and significance of the miraculous for Americans, Jortner makes a welcome and valuable contribution to the history of the country’s formative period.” Adam is a frequent contributor to NPR’s BackStory and a former member of the script team on PBS’s Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?
Interfaith Lecture Series: Rabbi Bob Alper    Hall of Philosophy
There’s a reason why Sirius/XM satellite radio plays Rabbi Bob Alper’s bits several times daily, often sandwiched between Bob Newhart and Jerry Seinfeld: Bob’s unique background – he’s an ordained rabbi who served congregations for fourteen years and holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary – prepared him well for a twenty-seven year comedy career with wonderfully unique material presented in a way that’s intelligent, sophisticated, and 100% clean. Audiences adore him, from an SRO crowd at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival to a standing ovation before over 3,000 people at New York’s famed Chautauqua Institution. He’s even appeared at Hollywood’s IMPROV and THE COMEDY STORE. Bob performs all across North America and England, at corporate events, theatres, non-profits, conventions, private parties, churches, and, naturally, synagogues. And he’s done over 200 shows with his Arab and Muslim comedy partners, at a variety of venues, but primarily colleges and universities. The New York Times reported the comics “...had the audience convulsing.” Bob’s 90-minute stand-up act is fast-paced, with impeccable timing and material that’s definitely sharp yet gentle and unhurtful. In addition, he offers an informative, hilarious event called “The Spirituality of Laughter,” which is particularly appropriate for religious organizations, civic groups, school and hospital in-services, etc. The rabbi-comedian draws tremendous media attention, and, among others, has been seen on The Early Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Showtime, the BBC, CNN, and was featured on Extra, TV's top-rated entertainment program, immediately following a segment on the size of Jennifer Lopez's buttocks. He was recently named “Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope,” winning an international contest launched on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” In addition to being a full-time stand-up comic and conducting annual High Holyday services, Bob is the author of three books that further showcase his considerable talents: Life Doesn't Get Any Better Than This, an inspirational collection that The Detroit Free Press called “a volume of spiritual gems;” the award-winning full-color cartoon book A Rabbi Confesses; and the recently-published Thanks. I Needed That, more stories that touch readers with their warmth, humor, and wisdom. He’s also produced two best-selling comedy CDs as well as a DVD. Bob resides in rural Vermont with his wife Sherri, a psychotherapist. Professionally, he makes people laugh, while she helps people cry. View Bob Alper's website
Interfaith Lecture Series: Susan Sparks    Hall of Philosophy
As a trial lawyer turned standup comedian and Baptist minister, Susan Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. A North Carolina native, Susan received her B.A. at the University of North Carolina and a law degree from Wake Forest University. After ten years as a lawyer moonlighting as a standup, she left her practice and spent two years on a solo trip around the world, including working with Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and driving her Jeep Wrangler solo from NYC to Alaska. Upon returning home, she entered Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she earned a Master of Divinity and wrote an honors thesis on humor and religion. In May 2007 Susan was installed as the 15th Senior Minister of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. She was the first woman pastor in its 170-year history and she remains there to this day. (Y'all come visit!) A featured TEDx speaker, Susan's work with humor, healing, and spirituality has been featured in O (The Oprah) Magazine, the New York Times, and on such networks as ABC, CNN, CBS, and the History Channel. A professional comedian, Susan tours nationally with a stand-up Rabbi and a Muslim comic in the Laugh in Peace Tour. She is also an internationally known preacher and speaker whose wide-ranging clients include the World Bank, colleges and universities, resorts such as Canyon Ranch, religious conventions, and national/regional gatherings for cancer survivors and caregivers (Susan is a breast cancer survivor). In addition to her speaking and preaching, Susan writes a nationally syndicated column through GateHouse Media distributed to over 600 newspapers reaching over 21 million people in 36 states. She is the author of the award-winning book, Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor, and her second book, Preaching Punchlines: The Ten Commandments of Standup Comedy, is due to be released in the summer of 2019. Susan is the 20th recipient of the John L. Haber Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts given by the University of North Carolina (and comedian/alum Lewis Black), as well as a recipient of the Intersections International Award for interfaith work to promote justice and reconciliation among diverse communities. Most importantly, Susan and her husband Toby love to fly-fish, ride their Harleys, eat good BBQ, and root for North Carolina Basketball and the Green Bay Packers.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Dr. Abdallah S. Daar    Hall of Philosophy
Dr. Abdallah S. Daar, O. C. FRS (C), D. Phil, FRCS, FRCP, is Emeritus Professor of Global Public Health and of Surgery at the University of Toronto and a Permanent Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. His other recent appointments include being Senior Scientist at University Health Network Research Institute and at the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children; and Chief Scientific and Ethics Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board at Grand Challenges Canada. Professor Daar was the founding Chair of the Board of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (2009-2011) and was Chair of the Advisory Board of the United Nations University International Institute of Global Health. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Genome Canada and a Member of the United Nations Secretary-General's Scientific Advisory Board. After medical schools in Uganda and London, England, he went to the University of Oxford, where he did postgraduate clinical training in surgery and also in internal medicine, a doctorate in transplant immunology, and a fellowship in organ transplantation. He was on the faculty of the Nuffield Dept. of Surgery at Oxford University for several years before going to the Middle East to help start two medical schools. He was the foundation chair of surgery at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman for a decade before moving to the University of Toronto in 2001. Professor Daar's academic career has spanned biomedical sciences, organ transplantation, surgery, global health, and bioethics. He has worked in various advisory or consulting capacities with the UN, the World Health Organization and UNESCO; was a member of the African Union High Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology; and is currently a member of its High Level African Panel on Emerging Technologies. Daar is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the New York Academy of Sciences, and is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto. He has been a member of UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee and of the Ethics Committee of the Human Genome Organization. His international awards include the Patey Prize of the Surgical Society of Great Britain, the Hunterian Professorship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics of Science, and the Anthony Miller Award for Excellence in Research in Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. He holds the official world record for performing the youngest cadaveric-donor kidney transplant. His current major research focus is on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease; and on ameliorating global health inequities through building scientific capacity, especially in Africa, where he works with the African Academy of Sciences and the African Union. He has published over 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals and as chapters in various books. He has also published six books including The Grandest Challenge: Taking Life-Saving Science from Lab to Village, which he co-wrote with Peter Singer. In 2017 Abdallah Daar received one of Canada’s highest awards for public service, being named an Officer of the Order of Canada. In September 2018 Abdallah released his seventh book, Garment of Destiny, which will form the basis of his lecture at Chautauqua on Grace, inspired by his Swahili Muslim heritage.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Katherine Ozment    Hall of Philosophy
Katherine Ozment is the author of Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked in publishing for more than twenty-five years, including as a senior editor at National Geographic, for which she once rode a donkey through the deserts of Israel and Jordan for several weeks on assignment. Her essays and articles have been widely published in such venues as National Geographic, The New York Times, and Spirituality & Health. Grace Without God was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly and Spirituality & Health and won the 2017 First Place Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Religion Books from the Religion News Association. Born in Arkansas, she has lived on both coasts and now resides with her husband and three children in Chicago. Grace Without God tells the story of the recent and dramatic rise in religious disaffiliation across the United States. To tell this story, Ozment spent three years observing, researching, and writing about the “Nones,” the shorthand term for those who check “None of the Above” when asked their religious affiliation. In recent years, that group has grown to twenty-five percent of the U.S. adult population (and thirty-nine percent of Millennials). Grace Without God examines the forces, large and small, that have led so many people to leave religion, and then goes on to explore what they’re doing instead. Ozment’s is a hopeful, if complex, tale of the many ways secular Americans are creating new communities, rituals, and sources of meaning—and how these new approaches are changing the fabric of American society.
Bill Moyers    Hall of Philosophy
In addition to this lecture, Bill Moyers will also be moderating lectures happening Aug. 13-Aug. 15. Bill Moyers has been recognized as one of the unique voices of our times. His career in broadcast journalism has spanned five decades and earned him more than 36 Emmy Awards, nine Peabody Awards, six Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University Awards, the National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the PEN USA Courageous Advocacy Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the American Film Institute. He and his wife and creative partner, Judith Davidson Moyers, have been responsible for such acclaimed PBS series as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth; On Our Own Terms-Moyers on Death and Dying; Close to Home—Moyers on Addiction and Recovery; America’s First River—the Story of the Hudson River; The Language of Life; Genesis: A Living Conversation; Faith & Reason; The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith; Amazing Grace; and, until their retirement in 2015, the weekly television series NOW with Bill Moyers (2002-2004), Bill Moyers Journal (2007-2010), and Moyers & Company (2013-2015). Their award-winning investigative documentaries include The Secret Government—the Constitution in Crisis; Trade Secrets—A Moyers Report on Chemicals and Public Health; Capitol Crimes – Net at Risk – Whose Internet is It?; Buying the War: How the Press Enabled the Invasion of Iraq; Pesticides in Our Children’s Food; Two American Families: Our Struggling Middle Class; and Free Speech for Sale—How Money is Changing Politics. Most recently the Moyers team received the Robert F. Kennedy Humanitarian Award for their documentary reporting on the culture of cruelty in New York City’s largest and most notorious jail, Rikers, as well as the Cannes Festival Award for Diversity. Bill Moyers graduated from the University of Texas, studied at New College Divinity School at the University of Edinburgh, and received his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas. Before beginning his prolific career with public television he worked as liaison in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, became a founding organizer of the Peace Corps and its first deputy director, and served as Special Assistant for domestic policy to President Lyndon B. Johnson and then White House Press Secretary before resigning to become publisher of New York’s Newsday. He was also Senior Correspondent for the CBS documentary series CBS Reports founded by Edward R. Murrow, and for five years was senior news analyst of the CBS Evening News. He is president of the Schumann Media Center, a non-profit organization for the support of independent journalism. Judith Davidson Moyers served for l7 years as a trustee of the State University of New York, including five years as vice-chair of the board; a trustee of Hofstra University; a member of the White House Commission on Children; a delegate to the United States Commission to UNESCO, and an advisor to the Corporation for Entertainment and Learning, producer of the highly-acclaimed series Walk Through the Twentieth Century and Creativity. She was the first woman to moderate executive seminars at the Aspen Institute for the Humanities. In l987 she became president and executive producer of Public Affairs Television, the Moyers’s independent production company. The Moyers have three grown children and five grandchildren, and live in New York City
Interfaith Lecture Series: Debby Irving    Hall of Philosophy
Debby Irving brings to racial justice the perspective of working as a community organizer and classroom teacher for 25 years without understanding racism as a systemic issue or her own whiteness as an obstacle to grappling with it. As general manager of Boston’s Dance Umbrella and First Night, and later as a classroom teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she struggled to make sense of tensions she could feel but not explain in racially mixed settings. In 2009, a graduate school course, Racial and Cultural Identities, gave her the answers she’d been looking for and launched her on a journey of discovery. Debby now devotes herself to working with white people exploring the impact white skin can have on perception, problem solving, and engaging in racial justice work. A graduate of the Winsor School in Boston, she holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MBA from Simmons College. Her first book, Waking Up White, tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing. Waking Up White is the book Debby Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As she unpacks her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race. She also explains why and how she’s changed the way she talks about racism, works in racially mixed groups, and understands the racial justice movement as a whole. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas. Waking Up White's personal narrative is designed to work well as a rapid read, a book group book, or support reading for courses exploring racial and cultural issues.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Rev. angel Kyodo williams    Hall of Philosophy
Once called “the most intriguing African-American Buddhist” by Library Journal, and “one of our wisest voices on social evolution” by Krista Tippett, Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei, is an author, maverick spiritual teacher, master trainer and founder of Center for Transformative Change. She has been bridging the worlds of personal transformation and justice since the publication of her critically-acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace. Being Black was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker and “a classic” by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. Her new co-authored book, Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love & Liberation, is a powerful wake-up journey that is igniting communities — activist, Buddhist, and beyond — to have the conversations necessary to become more awake and aware of what hinders liberation of self and society. The Radical Dharma events that have emerged from the book: Connections, Circles and Conversations, have initiated profound healing and deepened commitment to dismantling oppression across lines of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other divides. Ordained as a Zen priest, she is a Sensei, only the second black woman recognized as a teacher in the Japanese Zen lineage. She is a social visionary that applies wisdom teachings and embodied practice to intractable social issues at the intersections where race, climate, and economic justice meet. She coined the name for the field of Transformative Social Change and sees it as America’s next great movement. In recognition of her work, Rev. angel received the first Creating Enlightened Society Award from the international Shambhala Community. For over 20 years, she has been putting into practice her unwavering belief that the key to transforming society is transforming our inner lives. She has developed comprehensive systems for illuminating both practical personal change and the profoundly liberating potential of mindfulness meditation, yoga, and somatic practices coupled with wisdom teachings. Calling for a paradigm shift that “changes the way change is done,” Rev. angel envisions the building of a presence-centered social justice movement as the foundation for personal freedom, a just society and the healing of divisions of race, class, faith and politic. Both fierce and grounded, she is known for her unflinching willingness to both sit with and speak uncomfortable truths with love. Her work has been widely covered, including in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Ms., Essence and Buddhadharma. angel notes, “Love and justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.” Whether in writing, teaching, or speaking, her voice is unique. She was made for these times.

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