Wednesday Lunch

Wednesday is a day of community gathering at the Divinity School. Join us!

 Wednesday Lunch is a Divinity School tradition started many decades ago.  At noon on Wednesdays when the quarter is in session a delicious vegetarian meal is made in the Swift Hall kitchen by our student chefs and lunch crew.  Once the three-course meal has reached dessert  there is a talk by a faculty member or student from throughout the University, a community member from the greater Chicago area, or a guest from a wider distance. All are welcome (you do not have to be a Divinity School student or faculty or staff to come).  Cost is just $5.  Sign up in advance: divinitylunch@gmail.com

Many times these talks focus on various aspects of religion in public life or the academic study of religion, but topics have addressed everything from the parakeets of Hyde Park to the world of male modeling to language loss in Siberia.  Sit at any table and join the conversation: the programs provide a unique opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to engage one another.

Once a quarter we offer a Dean's Forum, which invites a faculty member to discuss one of his or her recent works, with formal response from several Divinity School colleagues.

Lunch itself is a vegetarian meal (a vegan option is available by prior request) and typically includes bread, salad, a main course, dessert, and drinks. Wednesday lunches take place from 12 noon to 1:15 pm in Swift Common Room, and cost $5 at the door. Email to reserve your space.


January 11
Yvonne Maffei, chef, cookbook author, and founder of My Halal Kitchen.

January 18

January 25
Dr. Aasim Padela
Director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine and a faculty member with the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, speaking. Dr. Padela is Associate Professor of Medicine in the sections of Emergency Medicine and General Internal Medicine.

February 1
Dean's Forum. 
The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss one of his or her recent works, with formal response from several Divinity School colleagues. Today we welcome Sarah Hammerschlag, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature, Philosophy of Religions and History of Judaism, and the Director of our MA Program, in discussion of her recent work, Broken Tablets: Levinas, Derrida and the Literary Afterlife of Religion (Columbia University Press, 2016). Responding will be faculty colleagues Simeon Chavel, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, and Kevin Hector, Associate Professor of Theology and of the Philosophy of Religions.

February 8
Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, speaking. Prof. Jonsson is Associate Professor of British History, Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science and Director of the Nicholson Center for British Studies.

February 15

February 22
Tobias Spears, Director of the The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Student Life, speaking. Spears oversees all programs and services for students concerning matters of sexual orientation and gender identity.  He is also a PhD student at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, studying black queer representation in film and media.

March 1
Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church, speaking.


April 5
Dean's Forum. 
The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss one of his or her recent works, with formal response from several Divinity School colleagues. Today we welcome Cynthia Gano Lindner, our Director of Director of Ministry Studies and Clinical Faculty for Preaching and Pastoral Care, in discussion of her recent work, Varieties of Gifts: Multiplicity and the Well-Lived Pastoral Life (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). Responding will be faculty colleagues Willemien Otten, Professor of Theology and the History of Christianity, and Christian Wedemeyer, Associate Professor of the History of Religions.

April 12
Tarek Alexander Hassan, Associate Professor of Finance and Economics, speaking.  Hassan joined Chicago Booth as an Assistant Professor of Finance after earning his PhD from Harvard University in 2009. He studies international finance, economic history, and macroeconomics.

April 19
Stephen Rings, speaking. Associate Professor of Music, Rings research focuses on transformational theory, phenomenology, popular music, and voice. And Bob Dylan.

April 26
Anna Lise Seastrand, Collegiate Assistant Professor and Harper Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, speaking. Prof. Seastrand’s work broadly addresses the relationships between visual, oral, and written texts in South Asian art, with particular focus on physical and notional landscapes, pilgrimage, and performance.

May 3

May 10
John Novembre, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics, speaking. Prof. Novembre's main research goal is to tackle statistical and analytical problems that will enable discoveries about evolutionary processes and the nature of disease variation.

May 17

May 24
Annual BBQ in the courtyard (if weather allows).