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Windows on the World

Windows on the World is intended to stimulate personal involvement in and knowledge of some of the crucial and controversial issues facing Christians today. Through these forums, the campus community is exposed to Christian thinkers and activists who model our motto of “the whole gospel for the whole world.”

Presentations are Fridays, 10 a.m. in McInnis Auditorium (St. Davids campus) unless otherwise indicated.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and open to the public.
Click here to download PDF of the schedule

Spring 2016

* An asterisk after dates below indicates that following that particular presentation, the Provost’s Office will host an informal luncheon in Baird Library (Walton Hall, 2nd floor) from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. to extend the conversation over a meal. Participants should go through the Dining Commons line and bring their lunches back to Baird Library.  Guests without a meal plan should give their names to the Sodexo cashier outside the Dining Commons and mention that they are attending the Windows luncheon.

Ewuare Osayande, Anti-Oppression Coordinator, Mennonite Central Committee US
“Let Justice Roll Down Like Water”
In this presentation in honor of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ewuare Osayande will provide a counter-hegemonic reading of the movements for racial justice that have swept across the country over the last few years. As thousands of African Americans and their allies have engaged in various forms of nonviolent civil disobedience, we continue to witness acts of police and vigilante killings of African Americans across the country. Author of Commemorating King: Speeches Honoring the Civil Rights Movement, Osayande will look through the theological lens of Dr. King's prophetic witness and offer a critical analysis of the Christian church and American society at this crucial hour. He will also consider how the Black Lives Matter movement is actively holding up the tradition of Black freedom struggle that has been a central element in the work of democracy in this nation.

Friday, JANUARY 22  
Dr. Patricia Reger, Professor, Department Chair, Kinesiology, Eastern University
“Childhood Hunger and Obesity: The Unwanted Guests at the Table”
In the U.S., approximately 50 million citizens are food insecure, many of them children.  The paucity of nutritionally sound calories leads to poor nutrition and rising obesity rates.  The coexistence of obesity and hunger indicates an obvious disconnect.  Obesity, food insecurity and hunger in the context of optimal nutrition, responsive relationships and safe environments will be discussed.  The goal of this presentation is to mobilize the community to a convergence of thinking and action to improve child nutrition and overall health.

Friday, JANUARY 29  
Dr. Drick Boyd, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Urban Studies, Eastern University
“White Allies in the Struggle for Racial Justice”
In a time when people of color are marching, advocating and calling for racial justice in U.S. society, what is the role of White people beyond feelings of guilt and confusion? How can White people move beyond compassion and concern to active solidarity? Drawing from insights from his recently published book, White Allies in the Struggle for Justice, we will explore what it means for White people to be allies with their brothers and sisters of color.

Friday, FEBRUARY 5 *
 Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church
“Moving from Outrage to Action”
Join us as Dr. Jo Anne Lyon discusses the great tragedy of human trafficking and other major social justice issues. Drawing on her significant global leadership she will outline how Christians can and must step beyond becoming informed and passionate about the world’s problems towards actually becoming courageous leaders.

Friday, FEBRUARY 12
Dr. Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch, Professor of Christian Studies, Eastern University
“12 Years a Slave: Race, Film, and Biblical Hermeneutics”
In this lecture, Dr. Burnette-Bletsch will trace two competing hermeneutical approaches to biblical texts in the 2013 Academy Award winning film12 Years a Slave. Confirming Allen Dwight Callahan's claim that historically "African Americans found the Bible to be both healing balm and poison book," these approaches illustrate on the one hand a hermeneutics of liberation and on the other a hermeneutics of status quo. This lecture will discuss the film and its use of Scripture as a distinctive cinematic response to the 'post-racial' rhetoric that characterized Obama's first term.

Friday, FEBRUARY 19 *
Dr. Charles Howard, University Chaplain, University of Pennsylvania
“Living Peace: Believe in and Practicing Radical Non-Violence in an age of Terror and Mass Shootings”
What might it mean to practice and embody non-violence in an age of mass shootings and terror?  And how might a commitment to living out our faith non-violently help to bring about real change in our community, nation, and world?  In this lecture we'll explore the great legacy of non-violence passed down to us from Christ as well as from contemporary activists and witnesses.  Further we'll consider how Christians might live non-violently not only as a form of direct action and critical refusal, but as a daily witness that can move those around us to positive change.

Spring Recess Commissioning Service
Megan D. Acedo, M.Div., MSW, Coordinator of Student Ministries & Service Learning
This will be a formal commissioning of Eastern University students, faculty, coaches and staff who will spend their Spring Recess on Eastern-sponsored service trips (academic, athletic, missions).

Friday, MARCH 11  *
Dr. J. Richard Middleton, Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis, Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College
“A New Heaven and a New Earth – For God So Loved the World”
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16) Could this famous verse imply that God cares for the entire universe? Prof. J. Richard Middleton will explore a comprehensive biblical vision of God's love for this world, focused on his overarching purpose to inhabit creation with the fullness of his presence. Taking us on a tour of the Bible's vistas of God's intent from creation, through the tragedy of sin, to the incarnation of Christ, this talk will climax with the New Testament's vision of the redemption of all things --"a new heaven and a new earth.”

Dr. Peter Enns, Abram S. Clemens Professor of Christian Studies, Eastern University
“The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More than Our ‘Correct’ Thinking”
Life happens, and when it does faith in God can take some hits. What makes these times of doubt and struggle more difficult is thinking that a “strong” faith is one where you “gotta know what you believe.” But what happens when you don’t? What happens when “life happens” and what you once were so certain about seems less certain? Rather than this being a time of a lost or weakened faith, it may actually be an unexpected God-moment, where we being shown that God, not our thinking about God, is the object of our trust.

Friday, APRIL 1  *
Dr. Derrick Lemons, Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, University of Georgia
“Theologically-Engaged Anthropology: What Can Theology Contribute to Cultural Anthropology and Ethnography?”
What can theology contribute to cultural anthropology and ethnography? There is a great need in anthropology for a theologically-engaged theoretical framework. Anthropologists experience new insights when they allow various theological perspectives to illuminate their research.  This lecture will describe the purpose and results of a three year project, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, bringing together scholars from a variety of backgrounds to develop a theoretical framework for providing anthropologists with a rationale and a model for using theology in their research.

Friday, APRIL 8
Dr. David H. Bradstreet, Professor and Chair, Astronomy & Physics Dept., Eastern University
“God as Sustainer: A Concept Assented to But Not Often Believed in Practice"
Dr. Bradstreet’s new book, Star Struck: Seeing the Creator in the Wonders of Our Cosmos, is due for release by Zondervan in 2016.  In it he and co-author Steve Rabey describe many of the wonders of the universe and how a better understanding of them and how God is described in the Bible can lead to a beautiful harmony between faith and science.  Dr. Bradstreet will discuss the Biblical theme of God as Sustainer which undergirded the beliefs of many of the early scientists of the Renaissance and how critical it is for modern lay people to understand the importance of God’s roles as both Creator and Sustainer.

Friday, APRIL 15
Dr. Jeffrey Dill, Affiliate Faculty, Templeton Honors College, Eastern University
 “Homeschooling and the Common Good?”
Homeschoolers represent a rapidly growing, diverse, and complex group that appears to be united through its opposition to dominant educational approaches.  Does their withdrawal from public education make homeschoolers against the common good?  Are they for or against the world?  In this lecture, Jeffrey Dill will present recently collected data from a study of 30 families around the country to examine the motives, self-understandings, and narratives of homeschooling parents and teens.

Friday, APRIL 22  *
Melissa Helmbrecht, JD, Director of Strategic Partnerships, The Sider Center
“Beyond Prayer: A call-to-action in the wake of mass shootings and terrorism”
The outbreak of mass shootings and the spread of terrorism create waves of powerlessness and concern around the world.  Ms. Helmbrecht shares what she has learned over the course of a decade working directly with survivors and communities in the wake of both mass shootings and terrorist attacks. All of us want and need to do something, but what?  In addition to discussing large-scale initiatives, Ms. Helmbrecht will explore the role each individual can play personally and locally to transform helplessness into hope.

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