• Mollie Stone, Assistant Director of Choral Activities at the University of Chicago, leads a special Musical Wednesday Lunch.
  • Megham Freytag, MDiv, at a student-organized Wednesday Worship service in Bond Chapel.
  • MDiv student Hyein Park offers a sermon during a Wednesday Worship service.
  • College student Kristin Lin joins Lunch Crew members and MDiv students Walter Thorne and Erika Dornfeld in meal preparation.
  • 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.

Wednesdays in Swift Hall

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.  Join us this quarter for lunches on topics including "trans* on campus", local sustainable agriculture, and accelerating diversity in science.  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

Ecumenical religious services are held at Bond Chapel on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.  They draw on the contributions of students, staff, faculty, and religious leaders from around Chicago and are coordinated by current MDiv students. 

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 our quarterly 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. Those interested in attending should reserve a lunch in advance by emailing divinitylunch@gmail.com.


Spring Quarter, 2014



April 16
Dietrich & Andrea Mattson-McGaffey, co-founders and co-coordinators of Edible Alchemy, speaking. EA is Chicago’s local-source, sustainable & organic foods co-op, catering, dinner, and workshop center based at their community loft & rooftop garden in Pilsen. They are passionate about teaching the value of human connections to food, self-sustainability, local foods, and the transformative power of communities gathering to share stories and a meal. More at ediblealchemyfoods.com





Laor: AltermanApril 23

For God's Sake, Who is Alterman?

This question will be approached by Dan Laor, who will share his experience as the biographer of Nathan Alterman, long recognized as the national poet of modern Israel. 

Dan Laor is Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at the Divinity School. He teaches Modern  Hebrew Literature and is the incumbent of the Jacob and Shoshana Schreiber Chair for Contemporary Jewish Culture, Tel Aviv University. Former Chairman of the Department of Hebrew Literature and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Laor is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, among them the prize-winning biography of S.Y. Agnon, Israel's Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature for the year 1966.

Laor's recent book is Nathan Alterman, A Biography  (Hebrew), published on November 2013. It has been on Israel's best-seller list for nonfiction for over three months. 


April 30Just One of the Guys? book cover

Kristen Schilt and Chase Joynt, speaking.In 2013-2014, Schilt, Assistant Professor of Sociology, and multi-media artist Chase Joynt are conducting a year-long collaborative project. Sponsored by a Mellon Fellowship in Arts Practice & Scholarship at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, their project explores the construction of public narratives about transgender identities. The collaborators will create a series of multi-media installations that deploy and disrupt positions of scholarly, artistic and experiential authority.

Kristen Schilt's research interests center on sociology of gender and sexualities, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of work and occupations. A central focus of her work is finding new ways to make visible the taken-for-granted cultural assumptions about gender and sexuality that serve to naturalize and reproduce social inequality. Chase Joynt is a multi-media artist and writer who strategically employs personal narrative as a means to trouble understandings of gender and violence. Chase’s latest media installation project Resisterectomy was curated by The Feminist Art Gallery in Toronto, and presented as a solo exhibition in collaboration with Mary Bryson at Access Gallery in Vancouver, BC.

Think TankMay 7
Tyler Alterman, Cofounder and Operations Director of The Think Tank at UChicago, speaking about the work and vision of The Think Tank -- a mobile neuroscience lab and education station, powered by the Experience and Cognition Lab at The University of Chicago to accelerate diverse participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Find out more at http://thinktank.uchicago.edu/.







May 14
Amanda Woodward on  "Infants' Grasp of the Social World." Amanda Woodward is the William S. Gray Professor of Psychology.  Her research investigates infant social cognition and early language development including the understanding of goal-directed actions, agency, theory of mind, and learning from social partners.Dr. Woodward received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Her research has been recognized by several awards including the John Merck Fund Young Scholars Award (1994), the APA Boyd McCandless Award (2000) and a James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Fellowship (2003–2004). She is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the American Psychological Association.

May 21
A Dean's Forum on On Hinduism (Delhi: Aleph Book Company, 2013) by Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions. With responses from colleagues Bruce Lincoln, the Caroline E. Haskell Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, and Steven Collins, Associate Faculty and the Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations.

May 28 
Annual BBQ. Weather allowing, we will have an outdoor lunch in the Swift Courtyard. Lunch options for this lunch, and this lunch only, include meat. More information closer to the date.

April 9
Dawn Xiana Moon and Michi Trota, speaking about women, art, gatekeeping, and geek culture. 

Moon is a lifelong geek who has worked professionally in almost every area of the arts. She the producer and director of Raks Geek, geek bellydance and fire company, which achieved viral internet fame with a video of a Wookiee bellydancing to a Klingon band playing an original song in Shyriiwook. Raks Geek has been written up by CNN, MSN, Timeout Chicago (Critics' Pick), The Daily Mail (UK), and more. As a singer-songwriter, Dawn has performed in 10 states and has released two solo albums; her latest CD, Spaces Between, fuses elements from traditional Chinese music with jazz and alt folk pop. She has served as a section editor for RELEVANT Magazine, performs as a soloist with Read My Hips tribal bellydance, and, as a web designer/developer, works with clients like Anheuser-Busch, Chicago Booth, and Georgia Tech. 

Trota is an organizer for both the Chicago Full Moon Jams and the Chicago Nerd Social Club; she also performs as a fire-spinner with Raks Geek. Discussions about geek culture, feminism and intersectionality are guaranteed to get her talking for hours - she's organized panels at C2E2, Chicago Comic Con, and the University of Chicago on topics relating to sexism in geek culture.  

All are welcome to join a brief worship service held Wednesdays in Bond Chapel at 11:30 am. The service is co-sponsored by the Divinity School and Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and planned by a student-led worship committee. Students, faculty, and staff serve as preachers. These Wednesday services offer hospitable space and a welcoming community in which to pause, reflect, wonder, and pray. 

The students who plan services meet regularly to talk about their goals as a worshiping community. You are welcome to add your voice to our planning committee, so that we may continue to provide a worship experience that connects with the needs of our community.

For more information about Wednesday's Open Space in Bond Chapel, please contact student coordinators Megham Freytag and George Arceneaux at .

Spring, 2014

April 2:  Howl at the Noon
April 9:  Taoist Meditation with MDiv Jem Jebbia
April 16:  "Footwashing: Exploring a Maundy Thursday Ritual"
April 23: Greening the Div School and the Care of Creation
April 30: TBD
May 7:  Becoming Allies
May 14:  How to Get to Heaven – with Professor of Theology Dwight Hopkins
May 21:  John Harness and Pagan Ritual
May 28:  Rachel Watson, PhD student
June 4:  A Sending Service with Cynthia Lindner with Lunch to Follow