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 University faculty member, a representative of a community organization, an author, or a guest from further afield. All are welcome (you do not have to be affiliated with the Divinity School or even the University).  Cost is just $5.  Sign up in advance: divinitylunch@gmail.com

Sometimes these talks focus on various aspects of religion in public life or the academic study of religion, but topics have addressed everything from halal cooking to the germ biome to birds in ancient Egypt to language loss in Siberia to empathy in rats.  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. We have a very limited number of extra spaces available for each lunch, but you are welcome to take your chances as a walk-in.

October 4: Laurie Zoloth, Dean and Margaret E. Burton Professor of Religion, will open the 2017-2018 Wednesday Lunch year. 

October 11: TBA

October 18: Public art on the UChicago Campus: A Nonwalking Tour. Public art on campus is a fascinating, spontaneous experience, with some sculptures boldly claiming open spaces and others tucked unexpectedly between buildings. UChicagoArts offers a one-hour tour covering a small sample of the stunning works that have helped shape UChicago's intellectual and cultural life for decades. But today, you can take a modified version of the tour – over Lunch! Cassandra Dunn and Nika Levando from UChicagoArts will join us. 


October 25: Rev. Brian Sauder, Executive Director of Faith in Place, speaking. Faith in Place empowers Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the Earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities. Since 1999, Faith in Place has worked with over 1,000 houses of worship throughout Illinois to protect our common land, water, and air. Rev. Sauder, who has a BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences as well as an MA and MBA, is ordained by the Mennonite Church USA. He is also an Adjunct Professor at McCormick Theological Seminary, serves on the Board of the Illinois Environmental Council, and his work has been recognized as a 2012 award recipient of the University of Illinois's Business School's Community Scholar and as a 2013 Central IL Business 40 Under 40 winner. 
November 1: Dr. Stacy Lindau and Megan DePumpo from Feed1st. Feed1st, founded in 2010 by Chicago medical students, hospital staff, and faculty, works to relieve hunger for families of children receiving care at the Comer Children's Hospital. Learn about how this initiative is working not only to research health outcomes related to food insecurity, but to actually address hunger felt in our own hospitals today. 
November 8: Cynthia Bathurst, Executive Director of Safe Humane Chicago, speaking. Creating safe and humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals, Safe Humane's community-based programs provide education and training, early intervention, advocacy and access to needed resources for people and animals in disadvantaged circumstances. Programs include court advocacy and court-case dogs.
During a 25-year-long career in mathematics consulting, Bathurst was led to community policing and organizing, prompted by crime and violence in Chicago communities. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Alabama and a PhD at The University of Iowa. Cynthia also serves an advisor on the National Canine Research Council and is a member of Chicago’s Commission on Animal Care and Control. Cynthia considers herself the special guardian of every dog or cat who is a Safe Humane Ambassador and from the Court Case Animals Program.

Nov. 15
Jeanne Bishopprominent advocate for gun violence prevention, abolition of the death penalty, exoneration of the innocent and the role of faith in the debate over executions, speaking.  Ms BIshop defends the indigent as a Public Defender in the Office of the Cook County (IL) Public Defender and is the author ofChange of Heart: Justice, Mercy, and Making Peace with My Sister’s Killer. (Westminster John Knox Press 2015)

January 10, 17, 24, 31; February 7, 14, 21, 28



 April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23