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Spring 2015


Diversifying Theological Education: A public lecture by Stephen Lewis, President of the Forum for Theological Exploration | May 14, 2015





Laurie L. Patton, 2015 Alumna of the Year

"Grandmother Language: A Chicagoan Sojourn with Women, Sanskrit and The Ethnography of Reading” 




   Conference: Characterizing Astrology in the Medieval Islamic World | May 12-14, 2015

   Keynote address by Reimund Leicht

   Robert Morrison, Astrology as Jewish Philosophy

   Godefroid de Callataÿ, “Why was Astrology so Important to the Authors of the Rasā’il Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’?

   Ahmet Tunç Şen,  “An Ottoman Shaykh al-Islam in Support of Astrology: Kemal Pashazade (d. 1534) and his Treatise on Talismans” 

Teri Gee,  “Astrology vs. Astronomy in Abu Ma‘shar’s Kitab al-Madkhal al-Kabir” 

  Richard A. Rosengarten on "The State of the Field" | May 6. 2015

  Matthew Barber on "An Endangered Religion and a Destroyed People: The Yazidi Undoing and the Attempt to Respond" | May  14, 2015 

  Olatunji Oboi Reed on "Slow Roll Chicago" and the transformative powers of cycling  | May 20, 2015   


  Dean's 2015 Craft of Teaching Seminar | Laurie L. Patton

 Teaching Islamic Studies in the Liberal Arts | Lauren Osborne

 Art of the Approach | Russell McCutcheon 

 Teaching Religious Pasts | Amy Burnett

 Beyond Polarization: Strategies for Public Engagement | Martin E. Marty


Introducing Religion: A Swift Hall Colloquium | May 1, 2015

Seven members of the Divinity School faculty facilitate a richly textured conversation on the introductory course in all its complexity, taking as a starting point the notion that the academic study of religion should begin with its sources, broadly construed.

Prof. Kevin Hector, on Ernst Troeltsch, “The Absoluteness of Christianity and the History of Religions"
Prof. Sarah Hammerschlag, on Franz Kafka, “Before the Law” 
Prof. Richard Rosengarten, on George Herbert, “Love (III)” 
Prof. Margaret Mitchell, on the Abercius Inscription 
Prof. Jas Elsner on the C6 Beth Alpha Synagogue Floor Mosaic
Prof. Wendy Doniger, on a selection of Hindu texts: cosmogonic, devotional, and political
Prof. Dan Arnold, on Huntington & Wangchen, “The Emptiness of Emptiness”

Brook A. Ziporyn, Professor of Chinese Religion, Philosophy, and Comparative Thought on “Religion Without God: China’s Precious Spiritual Heritage.”  | April 28, 2015

Convocation: June 14, 2015





Winter 2015

  Timothy Gutmann, "Islamic Law 101" | January 14, 2015  

  Demond Drummer, "CoderSpace"  | January 21, 2015 

  Michael Pietrus, "How Being Smart Makes You Dumb: Mindset, Happiness and Our Students" | January 28, 2015

  Chad Broughton, "Boom, Bust, Exodus" | February 4, 2015

  Steven Sacks, "Angels and Exegisis: Israel and Other Secondary Powers in Rabbinic Literature" | February 11, 2015

  Dean's Forum with Profs. Anthony Yu, Wendy Doniger, and Brook Ziproyn | February 18, 2015

  Enhancing Life Project Team | February 25, 2015



   How to Choose a Textbook, or, Why I Wrote My Own: A Craft of Teaching event with Dale Walker | January 12, 2015

   Designing Assessments That Cultivate Rigorous Creativity | January 28, 2015

   Curricula and Criticism in Religious Studies: Notes from the Institutional Field with Brian Britt | February 6, 2015

   Dean's Winter 2015 Craft of Teaching Seminar with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp | February 12, 2015

   Teaching the Undergraduate Research Paper | February 16, 2015


  Encountering When Prophecy Fails, Encountering Cognitive Dissonance: A Forum | February 24, 2015







 Hermits and Zen: Solitary and Communal Practice in China | A public lecture by Bill Porter, aka Red PineJanuary 30, 2015







  Sufi Music of India and Pakistan: Feudal Ritual to Global Challenge | A Public Lecture by Regula Qureshi | January 16, 2015

  CONFERENCE: Islam, Music, and the Divine  

      The Sublime and Music: Islam and the West   | Recitation and Discussion of Poetry  |

       Music and Sublime Across the Sufi World  |   Witnessing the Sublime: Sufi Samaa in Secular France




Paul Ricoeur: Retrospect and Prospect III (Culture)
   January 9, 2015

   Part 1   |   Part 2



  Conference: Just War in the Midst of Combat?
  January 8, 2015




Autumn 2014


Lecture Series by Franklin Perkins: "The Problem of Evil and the Relation between Heaven and Human in Classical Chinese Philosophy"

November 11, 12, and 14, 2014

part one          part two         part three




  Improv Comedy with Piebenga Plumbing | November 19, 2014

  Jan Deckenbach on the Hyde Park/Kenwood Hunger Progams
  November 12, 2014 

  Ecumenism 101 with Aaron Hollander | November 5, 2014

  Lucy K. Pick on "Pilgrimage," pilgrimage, and writing historical fiction
  October 29, 2014

  Jack A. Gilbert on "Why Microbiomes Control Your Life"
  October 22, 2014

  Community Playground  | October 15, 2014

  South Side Projections | October 8, 2014



2014 John Nuveen Lecture by Donald York
October 16, 2014








  Teaching with Fiction | November 3, 2014

  Autumn 2014 Dean's Craft of Teaching Seminar
  Joanne Maguire Robinson: "From Paper Syllabi to Online Learning: Expanding Course Boundaries"
  October 24, 2014

  Cultivating Rigorous Creativity in Your Students | October 15, 2014

  Workshop on Public Speaking (Arts of Teaching Series) | October 2, 2014

  Demystifying New Faculty Success with Dr. Peg Boyle Single | May 9, 2014



  Conference: Thinking with Paul Ricoeur Part II: Retrospect and Prospect (Philosophy)
  October 14, 2014




  Lecture: Amy Hollywood on "On the True, the Real, and Critique in the Study of Religion"
  October 10, 2014





Spring 2014

  Spring 2014 Diploma and Hooding Ceremony






Wednesday Lunch: A Dean's Forum on On Hinduism by Wendy Doniger | May 21, 2014

Public Lecture by Christoph Markschies: Origen and Paul: The Example of their Anthropologies  | May 20, 2014

Teaching Philosophy of Religions: A Conversation with Professor Brook A. Ziporyn | May 18, 2014

"Endings without End: When Prophecy Fails and the Rise of New Age Spirituality and Cognitive Dissonance" Betty M. Bayer  | May 15, 2014

Wednesday Lunch with Amanda Woodward: "Infants' Grasp of the Social World" | May 14, 2014

Rival Memories: The Interminable Szenesz-Kasztner Controversy – A public lecture by Dan Laor | May 12, 2014

Craft of Teaching: Demystifying Dissertation Writing and New Faculty Success with Dr. Peg Boyle Single | May 9, 2014

Craft of Teaching: Course Design Workshop with Thomas Tweed | May 5, 2014


 Wednesday Lunch with Kristin Schilt and Chase Joynt: Trans* on Campus
 April 30, 2014





  Alumnus of the Year Lecture by Davíd Carrasco
  April 24, 2014





  Wednesday Lunch with Dan LaorFor God's Sake, Who is Alterman? 
 April 23, 2014


 Public Lecture by Sahar Khamis
 A Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative event
 April 18, 2014



Wednesday Lunch with Dietrich & Andrea Mattson-McGaffey: Edible Alchemy 
April 16, 2014

 Wednesday Lunch with Dawn Xiana Moon and Michi Trota: Gatekeeping and Geek Culture
  April 9, 2014

     Marilyn McCord Adams, Rutgers University, “God: Theological Accounts and Ethical Possibilities.” 

     Pamela Sue Anderson, Oxford University, “Ethical Reflection and the Concept of "God:" On  Sense-Making”

     Joshua Daniel, University of Chicago, "An Edwardsian Theoretical Aesthetics of Recognition" 

     Michael Fishbane, University of Chicago, "Plumblines in the Vastness. Measures without  Measure.” 

     John Hare, Yale Divinity School, “Divine Command: Religion and Morality.
     Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University, “Trinity, Virtue and Violence” 
     Mayra Rivera Rivera, Harvard University, “Emptying God: The Ethics of Theology in Merleau-Ponty’s Work.” 
     William Schweiker, University of Chicago, "God and the Common Good"
     David Tracy, University of Chicago, “God as Infinite: Ethical Implications.”
                                                                             Michael Welker, Heidelberg University, "God and the Ascent of Life"


Winter 2014

HHHHeartLogo.pngHarmony Hope and Healing
March 5, 2014

This program’s invited musical guests were members of Harmony Hope & Healing. "HHH" is an organization that provides creative, therapeutic, and educational music programs offering emotional and spiritual support to homeless and under-served women, children and men in the Chicago area. 

Yiddish Literature in the Sanatorium
February 26, 2014

Part of our Wednesday Lunch series, Sunny Yudkoff, Lecturer in Yiddish Language, discusses a cohort of tubercular writers who wrote and recuperated together under the auspices of the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society of Denver, Colorado, from the 1910s to 1930s. She explains how the variables of philanthropy, illness and literary expression came to mediate the lively literary scene of the sanatorium and the careers of its patient-writers. 

 From Secularism and the Citizen in the Middle East and South Asia 
 A Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative event
​ February 28, 2014
         Metin Heper, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey: "Some Notes on Secularism in Turkey"
         Peter van der Veer, Max Planck Institute: "Keeping the Muslims Out”

The Future of Creation: Linking Ecology and Evolution
February 19, 2014

Gayle Woloschak on "The Future of Creation: Linking Ecology and Evolution." Professor Woloschak is the associate director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. A molecular biologist and professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and an active leader in the Orthodox Church, Dr. Woloschak is deeply devoted to the religion-science dialogue and to the partnership of theologians and scientists in addressing critical issues in society. She is the author of hundreds of scientific articles and three books on the Orthodox faith, including Challenge Questions on Orthodoxy and Beauty and Unity in Creation.




Turning the Page: Graphic Novels as Art Objects
February 12, 2014

“Turning the Page: Graphic Novels as Art Objects”: After touring their books throughout the Midwest last year, the Sun Bros are prepared to release their next full-length graphic novel, “Monkey Fist.” Join Wesley Sun (MDiv’08, writer, and Director of Field Education and Community Engagement at the University of Chicago Divinity School) and Brad Sun (writer and illustrator) as they discuss the ways in which their books communicate as art objects.



The World's First Data-Storage System?
February 5, 2014

Christopher E. Woods, Associate Professor of Sumerology and Editor of the Journal of Near Eastern Studies at The Oriental Institute, speaking. Prof. Woods will discuss research on clay balls or envelopes from Mesopotamia that were used for record-keeping about 200 years before writing was invented -- possibly the world's first data storage system.


Restoring Touch
January 29, 2014

Sliman Bensmaia, Assistant Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy: "Restoring touch with a prosthetic hand through a brain interface." Professor Besmaia studies the neural basis of the sense of touch, research that could lead to a direct interface with the brain that could someday allow those who have lost limbs to, not only manipulate objects, but also to be able to touch and feel again. 




Teaching the Bible with Technology
January 28, 2014

This workshop focuses on teaching the Bible—its texts, languages, and history—with technology, covering a range of approaches from online resources to online teaching. Presentations and discussions with two recent Bible program alumnae: Anne Knafl, Bibliographer for Religion and Philosophy at the University of Chicago Library, and Annette Huizenga, Assistant Professor of New Testament at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. A program of the Craft of Teaching in the Academic Study of Religion; cosponsored by the Hebrew Bible and the Early Christian Studies Workshops

Screen%20Shot%202014-02-18%20at%204.49.38%20PM.pngDean's Forum: Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism
January 22, 2014

A Dean's Forum on Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: History, Semiology, and Transgression in the Indian Traditions by Christian K. Wedemeyer, Associate Professor of the History of Religions. Jeffrey Stackert, Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible, and Brook A. Ziporyn, Professor of Chinese Religion, Philosophy, and Comparative Thought, responding. 






Pines' Maimonides: The History of the Translation and Interpretation of ‘The Guide of the Perplexed
January 19, 2014

Please visit the Pines' Maimonides page for available AV content.

Authority in the Classroom
January 16, 2014

Sarah Hammerschlag, Assistant Professor of Religion and Literature, leads a discussion about the role of authority in the classroom, the various ways in which a teacher might construct it, and how to negotiate our role as teacher within different classrooms and academic settings. A Craft of Teaching in the Academic Study of Religion event; presented by the Religion and Literature Club. 

Defining Religion and Civilization in Imam Bayezidof’s Refutuation of Islam
January 15, 2014

A Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative public lecture by Monica M. Ringer, Visiting Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History at Amherst College French religious studies.






bond%20chapel%20group.JPGWednesday Lunch at the Divinity School with David Woodhouse, FAIA, and special guests
January 15, 2014

David Woodhouse, FAIA, of David Woodhouse Architects, speaking. Mr. Woodhouse founded his firm in 1987; recognized as the American Institute of Architect (AIA) Chicago's Firm of the Year in 2007, it also recently won a national competition to design the Daniel Burnham Memorial in Chicago. His projects have earned numerous design awards from the AIA and the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois and have been published frequently in design periodicals. Mr. Woodhouse and DWA were recognized -- in the "Divine Detail" category -- by AIA Chicago for their work on the Bond Chapel renovation.