Spring 2023

Wednesday, February 8            5:30 - 7:00          Paino Lecture Hall (Beneski -107) 

Our Noonday Demon           

Niki Kasumi Clements, Rice University


Flyer with lecture details and image of Melancholy and of the guest lecturer

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Fall 2022

Friday, September 2                   4:30 - 5:30            Pemberton Lounge (Chapin-108)

Religion Department Open House

Religion Open House~ Courses, Cookies & Cider    

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Spring 2022


Tuesday, May 3        4:30 PM     Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115)

Ethnic Identity: Developing a Latina/o Identity

Silvia Pedraza, University of Michigan


Cuban and US Flags,     

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Thursday, March 31           4:30 PM         Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115)

Edward Blum, San Diego State University

"War is all hell," claimed a Civil War general years after the war. But what made it hell? Or who made it hell? Professor Edward J. Blum explores visualizations of evil during the era of the Civil War to show how all types of Americans martialed evil to make their most poignant political and racial points.

Lecture flyer. Image of American flag, eagle biting snake

Thursday, March 3             4:30 PM            Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather-115)

The 2022 Willis D. Wood Lecture

Guest speaker: Duncan Ryūken Williams, author of American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War 




View the video recording of this lecture.




Past Lectures 

Spring 2020

This event has been canceled.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11      5:15 PM                              AMHERST COLLEGE, FAYERWEATHER 115 (PRUYNE)

Ethnic Identity: Developing a Latina/o Identity

Silvia Pedraza, University of Michigan

Though Latinas/os are now 18 % of the U. S. population, only recently have they come to the national spotlight, in the midst of a climate of hostility. 

In this talk, Prof. Silvia Pedraza argues that Latinas/os have become part of the U. S. through very different processes of incorporation, via very different histories that have been an obstacle in their way to developing a common sense of identity, of unity. 
At the same time, Prof. Pedraza argues that at present those obstacles that were there in the past are being overcome. Thus a community of culture is becoming a community of interest. 

MONDAY, APRIL 6                   7:00 PM                   AMHERST COLLEGE, BENESKI 107 (PAINO LECTURE HALL)

Eating the Flesh of our Mothers: Tibetan Buddhist Perspectives on Vegetarianism and Animal Ethics

Geoffrey Barstow, Oregon State University

Drawing on the idea of reincarnation—that we have all had an essentially infinite number of past lives—Tibetan Buddhists often claim that every creature you may meet was, at one point or another, your parent.  At that time they treated you kindly, keeping you safe, fed, and warm.  Now, they suggest, we should repay this kindness by treating all creatures with generosity and compassion.

Arguments like these would seem to suggest that Tibetan Buddhists should be, almost by default, vegetarian.  And yet this is not the case.  While some Tibetans were vegetarian, most were not.  Further, just as in the contemporary United States, the debates between anti-meat and pro-meat Tibetans could be fierce and acrimonious.  In this talk, Dr. Geoffrey Barstow will discuss Tibetan perspectives on meat-eating and animal ethics, exploring the reasons Tibetans gave for adopting vegetarianism, why those arguments didn’t always work, and some ways in which these Tibetan perspectives might influence contemporary debates over meat-eating around the world. 

MONDAY, MARCH 2               4:30 PM                                AMHERST COLLEGE, FAYERWEATHER 115 (PRUYNE)

  Gushee flyer.jpg

Fall 2019



  Nestor Medina Lecture

Spring 2019


  Whiteness of Walden


Karen King Lecture


  Phyllis Trible


Lama Rod Owens

Matthew Rarey