• Mollie Stone, Assistant Director of Choral Activities at the University of Chicago, leads a special Musical Wednesday Lunch.
  • Wednesday Lunches are open to all.
  • Students prepare and serve the meal from scratch
  • Yoon Tae Chong (MA‘12), Daniel Owings (MA), and Anne Lynch (MDiv), during a Wednesday Lunch.
  • College student Konje Machini, MA student Nick Lowe and College student/religious studies major Jason McCreery learn a South African song during a Wednesday Lunch.

Wednesday Lunch

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


meal prep imageWednesday 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 each week 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.  Many times these talks focus on various aspects of religion in public life and the academic study of religion, but not always.  Sometimes there are musical performances instead of a talk.  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 at: divinitylunch@gmail.com



Lunch topics have addressed everything from the parakeets of Hyde Park to the world of male modeling to language loss in Siberia, presented over an always-delicious meal, cooked and served that day by our creative and energetic student staff. Sit at any table and join the conversation: the programs provide a unique opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to engage one another.

Special Wednesday Lunch events include the 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, and  Musical Offerings.

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.

Winter 2016

January 13
David Travis (AB'71), Author, Curator, and former Chair of the Department of Photography of the The Art Institute of Chicago, on a topic TBA. 

A specialist in the modernist period, he has organized a number of significant shows and contributed scholarly essays to their catalogs, including Starting With Atget: Photographs from the Julien Levy Collection (1977), Photography Rediscovered: American Photographs 1900-1930 (1979), André Kertész: Of Paris and New York (1985), On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography (1989), Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel (2001), Taken By Design: Photography from the Institute of Design 1937-1971 (2002),Yousuf Karsh: Regarding Heroes (2008), and most recently Karsh: Beyond the Camera (2012).

He has organized and presented more than 125 exhibitions of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago and has also been active as a guest curator for other major museums. His exhibitions have been shown at the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Osaka, the Museo degli Innocenti (Florence), and for the Patrimoine photographique of the French Ministry of Culture, which inducted him as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1987. In December of 2002, he was named a “Chicagoan of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune Arts critics. A book of his lectures and essays was issued in 2003 by David R. Godine Publisher under the title: At the Edge of the Light: Thoughts on Photographers and Photography, on Talent and Genius.


January 20
Rev. Randall Blakey, "Creating the Beloved Community." Randall K. Blakey is the Executive pastor at LaSalle Street Church, serving as chief of staff and sharing the ministerial responsibilities of preaching, teaching and pastoral care. He is a board member of the Near North Unity Program (NNUP) and the Near North Ministers Alliance (NNMA) and a graduate of Tennessee State University, McCormick Theological Seminary, The Divinity School of Harvard University and Northwestern University. Pastor Blakey has an extensive background in broadcast television and presently freelances as Director of Photography for ABC-7 shows 190 North, Heart & Soul and N’-Beat. His passion for ministry includes social justice, racial reconciliation, pulpit diversity and pneumatology.

January 27
Aaron Tugendhaft, Collegiate Assistant Professor in Humanities, on "Jihadists at Play." Aaron Tugendhaft studies the interplay of religion, politics, and the arts, particularly in the ancient Middle East. He received his PhD from the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University in 2012 and also holds degrees in Art History and Social Thought from the University of Chicago. Before joining the Society of Fellows, Aaron was a postdoctoral fellow in the Graduate School for Ancient Studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, where he also taught in the Institute for Assyriology and Hittitology. Before that he was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He is the editor, with Josh Ellenbogen, of the volume Idol Anxiety (Stanford 2011) and the author of articles on topics ranging from Bronze Age deities to modernist aesthetics. In 2013, he received the Jonas Greenfield Prize for Younger Semitists from the American Oriental Society.

February 3
Join us to hear from Sunny Yudkoff and Anne Knafl on "Yiddish in Chicago: A History of Publishing." Sunny Yudkoff, Senior Lecturer in Yiddish, and Anne Knafl, Bibliographer for Religion and Philosophy, will provide a glimpse into the multilingual history of Chicago and the breadth of Yiddish cultural activity that once helped energize Chicago's intellectual life.

February 10
Our speakers for today visit us from I Grow Chicago: Robin Carroll, Founder and President, and Stephany Price, Executive Director.  I Grow Chicago’s mission is to provide a safe, inter-generational haven to children and at-risk community members. Through sustainable farming and educational programs in nutrition, movement yoga and the arts, they foster creativity, wellness and empowerment for individuals in the community as a whole. 

February 17
 "Religion and Classical Ballet 101."  Caroline Anglim is a master's student focused on religious ethics and the role of religious discourse in public debates about medicine. She is interested in issues of vulnerability, collective responsibility, embodiment, and dignity. Her presentation about the intersections of religion and classical ballet will draw on her years of experience as a ballerina and dance teacher. Today's lunch continues our crossover with the student-led 101 series. "101s" are a no-pressure, no-prior-knowledge-required opportunity for students to learn from fellow students. always food, drink, laughter, and really basic questions. 



February 24

Today's guests are Thad Smith, founder, and head beekeeper Naaman Gambill, aka West Side Bee Boyz, Chicago's Urban Beekeepers. Founded in 2014, Westside Bee Boyz is committed to keeping, educating, and promoting urban beekeeping and honeybees as well as other pollinators. Located in the heart of Chicago’s Westside, it is their goal to serve the city’s bees and beekeepers as stewards to both. 


March 2
Quarterly Deans Forum with Kevin Hector, Associate Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religions. Professor Hector's recent book, The Theological Project of Modernism: Faith and the Conditions of Mineness (Oxford University Press, 2015),  explores the idea of 'mineness,' in the sense of being able to identify with one's life or experience it as self-expressive, by tracing the development of this idea in modern theology. Professors Michael Fishbane and Angie Heo will offer responses.


Spring Quarter 2016

April 6

April 13

April 20
Annette Prince, Director of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors (CBCM), speaking. CBCM is an all volunteer bird conservation project that operates under the auspices of the Chicago Audubon Society. Their mission is to protect migratory birds through rescue, education, and outreach. Come hear more about their amazing work and how acting locally – for the birds – has global consequences. 

April 27

May 4
Representatives from The Vein – a UChicago student-produced podcast will join us to talk about current issues in podcasting.

May 11

May 18

May 25
Annual BBQ.