Brown Bags 2007-2008

Brown Bag Lunches

All lunches are in the Theology Department Conference Room 335, 21 Camponella Way, 3rd Floor, unless otherwise noted.

Topics range from informal discussion of a question someone raises at lunch, to presentations by professors or students on topics they are writing about, to discussions with visitors to the university.

No background expertise, preparation or reading is required. You do not need to be an expert on a topic to lead a discussion about it! Newcomers are most welcome any week. (Bring your own lunch, if you wish to eat.)

If you are interested in presenting, or have suggestions, contact any of the Comparative Theology professors (Cornille, Langer, Makransky, Morris).

Fall Lunches

Tuesday September 18 John Makransky will present his new book, "Awakening through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness" -- speaking about Buddhist meditation practice and theory as a resource for the modern world and for comparative theology.

Wednesday October 17 Noel Sheth is speaking on "Sacrifice in the Hindu-Christian Dialogue."

Wednesday October 31 Ruth Langer will address "Theologies of the Land and State of Israel: Challenges to Interreligious Understanding"

Monday November 12 in Room 328 Christian Krokus will speak on "The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and Christian-Muslim Dialogue"

Tuesday December 4 in Room 328 Mathew Chandrankunnel of Dharmaram College, Bangalore, India (currently at Harvard) will speak on "New Religious Movements in India." The tremendous flexibility in Hinduism allows charismatic spiritual leaders to reinterpret doctrines and integrate values from other religions and thus spiritually inspire people irrespective of geographical and religious boundaries. Osho Rajneesh, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mata Amrutanadamayi and Sai Baba attract people from all over the world and instill in them spiritual values transcending religious boundaries, globalizing spirituality.

Spring Lunches

Wednesday January 30 James Morris will speak on “Explaining ‘Islam’ and ‘the West’ in Media Settings: Experiences and Reflections.”

Monday February 25 David Loy will speak on "The Lack of Self: A Buddhist Perspective on its Social-Ethical Implications"
One way to understand the Buddhist teaching of anatta (not- self) is that the constructed sense of self is haunted by a sense of lack. In response, money, fame, power, and sexual attractiveness become vehicles to try to become more real. But nothing 'in' the world can ever fill up the bottomless hole at our core. This is more than a personal problem. When institutionalized, our collective sense of lack motivates militarism, consumerism, and so forth. How can we understand the Buddhist solution to our individual sense of lack? What does that solution imply about social problems?

David Loy is Besl Family Chair Professor of Ethics/Religion and Society at Xavier University in Cincinnati. His books include 'A Buddhist History of the West' and 'The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory.' A Zen student for many years, he is qualified as a teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition.

Tuesday March 12 Jon Kirby will speak on "Peacebuilding among Christians and Muslims in Africa."

Professor Kirby is an anthropologist and missionary of Society of the Divine Word who has recently returned from Ghana, West Africa where he has served for more than 35 years. He is currently Professor of Cross-Cultural Studies and Christian Ministry and
Adjunct Professor, Center of Global Christianity and Mission, School of Theology, Boston University. He is involved in conflict studies and peace building from a cultural pathways perspective. He has developed a culturally therapeutic enactment genre for peace building which has been employed to reconcile large scale ethnic conflicts in Africa, conflicts in Religious Communities between Africans and Europeans, and ethnicity based conflicts in Western urban churches.

Thursday March 27 CANCELLED

Thursday April 10 (NOTE DATE CHANGE) Chris Conway will lead a discussion of "Encountering and Challenging the Divine: Hearing the Voices of Hagar, Draupadi, and Sita Today."

Tuesday April 22 John Renard, Professor of Theology, St. Louis University, will speak on "Models for Comparative Theology."
Recommended reading: "Comparative Theology: Definition and Method," Religious Studies and Theology 17 (1998): 3-18.

top of page

Updated: 18-May-2009
right corner left corner