Nuveen Lecture

The John Nuveen Lecture was established in 1972 by the Trustees of the Baptist Theological Union, which oversees an endowment that helps to support the University of Chicago Divinity School. Each year, a prominent member of the University’s faculty is invited by the Divinity School to deliver the lecture.

John S. Nuveen was one of Chicago’s most important and influential business leaders as well as a civic leader who served his country in a number of posts, here and abroad. He was active in Chicago-area civic and cultural organizations. He also had deep ties to a number of educational institutions, including the University of Chicago. He served as chairman of the University of Chicago’s Alumni Association and as a trustee of the Baptist Theological Union.

  • 1973 Paul Ricoeur: “Philosophy and Religious Language”
  • 1974 Mircea Eliade: “Some Observations on European Witchcraft”
  • 1975 James Barr: “Story and History in Biblical Theology”
  • 1976 Jerald Brauer: “Conversion: From Puritanism to Revivalism”
  • 1977 Langdon Gilkey: “The Mystery of Being and Non-Being”
  • 1978 Jarl Dyrul, M.D.: “The Practice of Religion”
  • 1979 Stephen Toulmin: “The Future of Cosmology”
  • 1980 Arthur Mann: “Socialism: Lost Cause in American History”
  • 1981 Alan Donagan: “Philosophy and the Possibility of Religious Orthodoxy”
  • 1982 Hanna Gray: “Ancients and Moderns in 15th century Humanism”
  • 1983 Joseph Kitagawa: “Legacy of the 1893 Parliament of World Religions”
  • 1984 Wayne Booth: “Deconstruction in a Religious Revival”
  • 1985 Fazlur Rahman
  • 1986 D. Gale Johnson: “Agricultural Reforms in China”
  • 1987 William McNeill
  • 1988 Karl Weintraub: “In the Sweat of thy Face”
  • 1989 Jean Comaroff: “Missionaries and Mechanical Clocks: Religion and History in South Africa”
  • 1990 Lecture cancelled due to death of lecturer J. David Greenstone
  • 1991 William Julius Wilson
  • 1992 Christine Cassel, M.D.
  • 1993 Michael Murrin
  • 1994 Jonathan Z. Smith
  • 1995 Robert B. Pippin
  • 1996 Françoise Meltzer: “Simone Weil and the Problem of Work”
  • 1997 Richard P. Saller
  • 1998 Sander L. Gilman
  • 1999 Arnold Davidson
  • 2000 Rob Nelson: “Hagia Sophia: From Istanbul to South Shore”
  • 2001 Daniel Garber: “Religion and Science, Faith and Reason: Some Pascalian Reflections”
  • 2002 Marshall Sahlins: "The Making of National History by Family Melodrama: The Iconization of Elian Gonzalez"
  • 2003 Tanya Luhrmann: “Trauma, Trance and God: How the New Style in American Religion Might Be Changing the Psychiatric Symptoms of Trauma"
  • 2004 Mark Strand: “Man and Camel”
  • 2005 Janet Davison Rowley: "Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Ethics in the Midst of Scientific Turmoil”
  • 2006 Geoffrey Stone: “The Constitution in the 21st Century”
  • 2007 Jonathan Lear: “The Transformation of Courage”
  • 2008 Leon Kass: "Defending Human Dignity: What it is and Why it Matters"
  • 2009 David Nirenberg: "Scriptural Conflict, Scriptural Community: Judaism, Christianity, Islam"
  • 2010 Anne Walters Robertson: “Music for the Mass and the New Christology of Fifteenth-Century Europe”
  • 2011 John Cacioppo: “Invisible Forces Revealed Through Studies of Social Isolation"
  • 2012 no lecture
  • 2013 Daniel Sulmasy, M.D.: “Medicine as Spiritual Discipline: Lessons from Fred”
  • 2014 Donald G. York
  • 2015 Panel Discussion: Larry L. Greenfield, Martin E. Marty, and Daniel L. Meyer
  • 2016 Kenneth Warren: “William Faulkner and the Franchise."
  • 2017 Andrew Abbott
  • 2018 Wu Hung: "Miraculous Icons and Dynastic Time: Narrating Buddhist Images in Medieval China"
  • 2019 Aden Kumler:  "Unmade by design: The Eucharist and other medieval works of art"
  • 2020 no lecture
  • 2021 Agnes Callard