2 p.m. EDT Monday–Friday, Hall of Philosophy
The Interfaith Lecture Series is designed to present issues that impact the lived experience of everyday life from theological, religious, spiritual, ethical, and humanitarian perspectives.
Week One :: June 26–30, 2023
Holy Friendship: Source of Strength and Challenge
What role does friendship play in spiritual life? A holy friendship, grounded in spiritual connection, goes beyond affinity to challenge and encourage two souls in a lasting way. This week’s lecturers will reflect on the place of friendship in faith formation and practice, and we will hear from them about their holy friendships. This allows the opportunity for us to ask: Who influences and shapes our lives through covenant and chosen relationship?
Week Two :: July 3–7, 2023
A Spirit of Play
We do not always think of religious life as the wellspring of playfulness. And yet, winning, losing, competition, and the joy of playing with others create a distinctive dimension of being human. There is a spiritual nature to many of the games we play, which are metaphors for life. Many of our religious traditions embrace or even revere the spiritual lessons of the trickster – one who plays games and causes trouble or mischief to explore life’s complexity. This week takes us into the spiritual, bonding, teaching, and socializing nature of play – and makes us smile.
Week Three :: July 10–14, 2023
Health and Faith: Considering the Center of Wellbeing in Partnership with Interfaith America
In partnership with Interfaith America
How can we navigate the intersection of faith and health to claim a “center of wellbeing” for all people? Addressing topics including mental health, spiritual caregiving, health equity, and integrative medicine, this week’s speakers will explore the positive potential that our diverse religious identities and communities offer as we seek human thriving. Taken together, the week’s series will cast a vision for robust interfaith engagement throughout the health ecosystem.
Week Four :: July 17–21, 2023
Religious Faith and Everything Else We Believe In
What leads an individual to have a religious or spiritual faith? Can it be taught; how is it caught? How is faith lost? This week’s Interfaith Lecture Series will consider research about how faith is acquired and understood, addressing different dimensions of belief across diverse traditions. Why do people believe what they believe, about God, creation, and one another? How does this develop and change across a lifetime? Join us as we consider the distinctive religious dimension of belief.
Week Five :: July 24–28, 2023
Religious and Ethical Infrastructure
Infrastructure is more than bricks and mortar; it includes those organizations, networks, and social foundations that nurture a healthy and vital society. Religious actors and institution have contributed a great deal to the social and ethical infrastructure of our society, but the past 50 years have seen a significant shift in that relationship. Why have religious organizations stopped building social infrastructure? Have our religious institutions failed in this arena? In this week, we explore whether social, religious and civic institutions are able to regenerate in a way that meets the needs of our contemporary world. What remains in place to support ethical decision making, and our civic and cultural institutions, in the absence of a robust religious sector?
Week Six :: July 31–August 4, 2023
Literature and Meaning—Making
Literature nurtures human flourishing, as we make meaning in our contemporary world, both in the reading and interpretation of classical texts and in the development of modern literature. In this week we ask five thinkers to share their journeys through life based on the literary treasures that have both shaped and guided them. Can literature expand our moral imagination and nurture our spiritual vitality? What books have accompanied you through your life? Come prepared to share your own literary journeys.
Week Seven :: August 7–11, 2023
Nature as Sacred Space
Many experience our wild spaces, including the national parks, as sacred spaces, cathedrals of creation, and sources of divine inspiration. How and why we preserve, approach, and appreciate our natural spaces says everything about what we value. In this week we will broaden our vision to look at the ways that the myriad traditions of religious faith have built identities in and around holy spaces in nature – come with us as we explore together the significance of holy land and sacred space across traditions.
Week Eight :: August 14–18, 2023
Freedom of Religious Expression
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States begins with religious liberty; the freedom to practice one’s faith is essential to democratic practice and imagination. Likewise, the pluralism and social good that arise with religious freedom are dependent upon an environment of openness and inclusion – no one tradition being established or favored over any other. This week’s lecturers will address the state of religious liberty today, and the value of religious expression to the thriving of democratic society.
Week Nine :: August 21–25, 2023
Realizing Our One World: Strengthening Interconnection
Interconnection is the hallmark of religious and spiritual thinking. While the world is more connected technologically, it has simultaneously grown more disconnected in thought and actions in many ways. What does the future hold for those of us in both the Global North and the Global South as we reckon with shifting dynamics of power, migration, and economic interdependence? How can we redirect the dichotomies between these global geographical worlds to help to create a “one world” spirit and reality? Strategic religious and spiritual leaders will focus the conversation.