The Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at the College of the Holy Cross will bring in special guest lecturers in February for talks on violence and genocide, education and equity, religion and ethics through history, the humanities, and more. Following the principle that faith and learning are partners in liberal education, McFarland Center programs foster dialogue that respects differences and provide a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious as well as interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope. The talks, held in the College’s Rehm Library, are free and open to the public.
Thursday, Feb. 4, 4:30 p.m.
Does Religion Promote Violence? — William Cavanaugh, director of Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology and a professor of Catholic Studies at DePaul University, will argue that the premise that religion promotes violence is comforting and ideologically useful. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.
Monday, Feb. 8, 4:30 p.m.
Survivors into Minorities: Armenians in Turkey during and after the Genocide —Lerna Ekmekcioglu, a historian of the modern Middle East, is associate professor of history and women’s studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is author of “Recovering Armenia: The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey” (Stanford University Press, 2016). Co-sponsored by the Middle Eastern Studies concentration and the McFarland Center.
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 4:30 p.m.
Equity, Schools, and The American Dream: What the Data Tell Us about the Future of Equity-Oriented Policy — Douglas Gagnon, a research associate at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy, will draw from his own research and others’ to examine the state of equal opportunity in our nation’s schools and describe what we might expect from equity-oriented education policy in the near future. Co-sponsored by the education department and the McFarland Center.
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 4:30 p.m.
Jesus: Bad Jew or Good Jew? — Adele Reinhartz, professor in the classics and religious studies departments at the University of Ottawa, Canada, will lecture on how Jesus’s Jewishness has been construed in 19th-21st century scholarship and in the Gospels of Matthew and John. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.
Thursday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Talk and Reading by Poet Christian Wiman — The author of five books of poetry and two collections of essays, Christian Wiman was former editor of “Poetry,” America’s oldest magazine of verse, from 2003-2013. A confluence of events, including a diagnosis of incurable cancer, prompted a spiritual journey that he traces in his recent memoir, “My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013). One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity and co-sponsored with the Creative Writing Program’s Working Writers Series.
Thursday, Feb. 25, 4:30 p.m.
Choosing Love: Bearing the Weight of the Other — Cultural critic David Kyuman Kim, professor of religious studies and of American studies at Connecticut College, will examine the status of love in politics, public life, religion and the arts, drawing examples from the work of American playwright Tony Kushner and choreographer David Dorfman. His current book project is titled “The Public Life of Love.”
Monday, Feb. 29, 4:30 p.m.
Patriarchy and Gender: Understanding the Spiraling Incidences of Sexual Violence on Women in India — Shaji George Kochuthara, associate professor of theology at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India, will speak on culture, sexual violence, and gender justice in India. It is part of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.
Wednesday, March 2, 4:30 p.m.
Equity, Schools, and Testing: What National Achievement Scores Do and Don’t Tell Us — Educational historian Ethan Hutt, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland, will explore the origins and implications of talking about educational achievement — and educational equity — in national terms, and by relying on standardized test scores. Co-sponsored by the education department and the McFarland Center.
Many talks are video recorded and made available online. Visit holycross.edu/mcfarlandcenter to learn more.
About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:
Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope. The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.
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