• Mollie Stone, Assistant Director of Choral Activities, 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.

Spring Quarter 2016

April 6
Our speaker today is Joan Bentley Hoffman, who came to UChicago as a grad student in the Music Department. With a Masters in Music History and now ABD, Joan’s work was in historical Ethnomusicology, centering on women’s music space in Chicago. Still at Chicago as a Fundraiser, she has jumped back into her research and is here today to talk about Rose Fay Thomas and the Fay family’s impact on the city of Chicago at the turn of century – from founding the Chicago Symphony, to convening the country’s music clubs at the 1893 Columbian Exhibition, to founding the Anti-Cruelty Society.

April 13
Shaun Casey
, United States Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs, speaking about the Office of Religion and Global Affairs, some of the work that office does, and how the State Department conceptualizes the nexus of religion and foreign policy.  

Dr. Casey has written on the ethics of the war in Iraq as well the role of religion in American presidential politics. His book, The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960, was published by Oxford University Press in January 2009. He is working on two writing projects. He is co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Political Theology with Michael Kessler of Georgetown University and he is writing a book on ethics and international politics tentatively titled "Niebuhr’s Children."

He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School with a Master of Divinity Degree and a Doctor of Theology in Religion and Society. He also earned a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with a concentration in International Security. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Abilene Christian University. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion and served as chair of its Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion. He was a visiting scholar at the Center for American Progress and a subject matter expert in religion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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
Ada Palmer on "The Renaissance Roots of Enlightenment Radical Religion seen through Humanist Biographies of Classical Philosophers."  Ada Palmer is Assistant Professor of History and the College; Associate Faculty of Classics; and a member of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. Her research interests include Renaissance and long-term European intellectual history, especially the recovery of classical philosophy, religion, and science in the Renaissance and how it mixed with dominant medieval ideas to produce the intellectual atmosphere that led to the Enlightenment and the modern world. 

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

May 11
Our Quarterly 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. Today's forum features Heidegger’s Confessions: The Remains of Saint Augustine in Being and Time and Beyond (University of Chicago Press, 2015) by Ryan Coyne, Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology. Daniel A. Arnold, Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Jean-Luc Marion, Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Professor of Catholic Studies and Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology will be offering responses.

May 18
Toni Anderson, Founding Executive Director of the Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab, speaking. The Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab is a Chicago-based non-profit organization dedicated to sustainability and environmental service learning, youth-driven social philanthropy and connecting  youth to nature and indigenous cultures.

May 25
Annual BBQ.