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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

Fall 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.

Friday, SEPTEMBER 2: FALL ACADEMIC CONVOCATION (in University Gym at St. Davids)
Dr. R. Keith Iddings, Provost
The Academic Convocation is a meaningful, time-honored tradition at Eastern University, during which we gather to corporately welcome new students, faculty, administrators, and staff, to celebrate student achievements, and to ask God's blessing on our new beginnings. PLEASE NOTE: 11:00am classes will start late as a result.

Sarah Withrow King, Interim Director of the Sider Center, and Co-Director of Creaturekind
“Is it a Sin to Eat Bacon”
1 Corinthians 10:23 tells us that "'I have the right to do anything,' you say - but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything' - but not everythings is constructive." So, can you be a Christian and eat bacon. Of course you can. But, if you're a Christian, should you eat bacon? We'll discuss this question as we explore the structural sin of intensive farming. Together, we'll ask what it means to be stewards of God's creation in a world where the demand for meat is so great that, worldwide, more than 70 billion land animals are killed every year for food in a system that abuses God-created, God-loved creatures, while wreaking havoc on animals, humans, and the land. 

Friday, SEPTEMBER 16 *  
Dr. Francesca Nuzzolese, Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Care, Palmer Theological Seminary, the Seminary of Eastern University
“Six Degrees of Separation? Sharing Vulnerability and Responsibility with Women around the World”
How many wrong choices do you think it takes before a restless teenager becomes a criminalized prostitute? What are the chances that a hardworking grandmother in her 70s might end up selling her body in some dirty alleyway? How safe is a college student from the allure of making extra money by selling some sexy pictures online? For over 10 years Dr. Nuzzolese has researched and engaged the predicament of vulnerability, which leads to the sexual and labor exploitation of women and girls around the world. A psycho-spiritual reading of their experiences, from the slums of India to the glitzy windows of Europe's Red Light Districts, reveals a disturbingly simple truth: separation is an illusion. We all (women and men) share degrees of vulnerability to the possibility of exploiting other and self. And we all are called to share responsibility as we seek to repair the tears of the human fabric.

Friday, SEPTEMBER 23
 Dr. Frederic Putnam, Associate Professor of Bible and Liberal Studies, Templeton Honors College, Eastern University
“Delight & Understanding: The Discourse Analysis of Biblical Poems”
Poetry is ubiquitous in Scripture - nearly one-half of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and about one-third of the Christian Bible. Poems are written using what has been called "the other use of language." Discourse analysis is a sub-field of linguistics that asks how communication functions above the level of the sentence. The principles of discourse analysis to the Hebrew language of biblical pslams, proverbs, prophecies (&c.) disclose that the poets chose not merely the vocabularly, but the forms of the words themselves (e.g., verbal conjugations) in order to shape their poems, choices that vanish in translation. (NB: Knowledge of Hebrew not required!)

Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Minister for Mission, Wayne Presbyterian Church
“Build a Bridge, Not a Wall”
While people are putting out the call to build walls of division, we need to respond to the call to build bridges of hope. God is calling each generation to respond to the call of being a "bridge builder". What will it take for leaders in our communities to take a spiritual risk and stand in the gap as a conduit of connection, conversation, reconciliation, and transformation? It is time to examine the excuses that keep us from standing in the gap through our Christian witness to make a difference where we live.

Friday, OCTOBER 7
Dr. Randolph Walters, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, College of Health and Social Sciences, Eastern University
“Do You Want to Get Well? A Missional Response to Complex Trauma in a Culturally-Shifting Society”
Complex Trauma creates an ongoing threat that has profound influence on the brain and can result in long-term health consequences. In this presentation, Dr. Randolph Walters will define and discuss the dynamics and prevalence of Complex Trauma in American Society. Drawing on his significant clinical and pastoral experience, Dr. Walters will construct a Prophetic Paradigm as a Missional response to healing in an American Society that is experiencing ongoing cultural shifts.

Friday, OCTOBER 14
Dr. Michael Lee, Associate Professor of History, Eastern University
"Pain, Suffering and Evil: A History"
Christians have traditionally held that God is both omnipotent (all powerful) and omnibenevolent (all loving). However, beginning in the seventeenth century, skeptics commonly pointed out that the presence of evil and suffering in the world poses a logical problem. How, they ask, can God allow such terrible things to happen in the world? In response Christians attempted to defend God and the coherence of their faith claims. And the debate has raged on. The history of this debate raises some interesting questions. For example, human beings have been suffering for thousands of years. So why, sometime around the middle of the 1600s, did it suddenly seem acceptable to hold God accountable? Dr. Lee is in the beginning stages of writing a book on the history of the problem of evil, and will share some of his preliminary thoughts on the subject.

Kent Annan, Co-Director, Haiti Partners, and Author
“How to Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly in the World”
How can we help without hurting? How can we be shaped by and guided by God's love as we work for change in the world? How can we keep at the work of justice for the long-term without burning out? How can we be sure we're making a real, lasting difference? Kent Annan will answer these questions based on his experience over the past 23 years, and through learning from others around the country and around the world. This talk is based on his new book, Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly in the World. When we approach justice more thoughtfully, deeper change can happen in us and for those we want to help.

Dr. Celia Deane-Drummond, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, and Director, Center for Theology, Science & Human Flourishing
“Tracing Our Shared Deep History: Evoluntionary Anthropology and Theo-Drama”
Theology and the natural and human sciences are often portrayed in categories of conflict. This lecture will explore the ways in which current research in evolutionary anthropology can inform theological beliefs about human origins and vice versa. Human entanglement with other animals points to a rich deep evolutionary history that has important implications. Rather than a separation of theological accounts from evolutionary ones, I suggest that there are productive ways of telling the Christian story of salvation history that resonate with newer evolutionary theories. I suggest that the most convincing theological approach is theo-drama. I hope to convince the audience that such exchanges are highly creative for theology and anthropology; both parties in the dialogue are not reduced to the other, but both enrich the other in new and interesting ways.

“Christian Politics? Making Faithful Decisions in the Midst of Political Turmoil” - PANEL
As the United States approaches the election of its 45th president during a unique and historic campaign season, as protestors decry injustice and as violence pervades our peace, democratic citizenship and Christian responsibility weigh heavily. This session features a panel of external speakers, from diverse disciplines, theologies and politics, to reflect upon how their faith traditions and theologies guide their politics in these times. Their reflections and our discussion with them are intended to help us all discern how to act upon our convictions. Panelists include Dr. Brian Ephrem Fitzgerald, Rev. Dr. Ernest R. Flores, Rev. William Golderer, Mr. Ron Granieri, and Rev. Dr. Donna L. Jones.

Friday, NOVEMBER 11
Dr. Kirk Mensch, Associate Professor, PhD in Organizational Leadership Program, College of Business and Leadership, Eastern University
“Using Hope and Religion for Political Gain"
Dr. Mensch has spent the past several years studying the relationship between hope, religious beliefs and moral resiliency. This lecture will focus on political rhetoric and behavior used by politicians to affect people's religious convictions and hope for the future. Specifically, we will investigate a more sinister aspect of grandiloquent political performances aimed at influencing voters to inevitably betray their own moral prescripts through the disengagement of moral self-sanctions.

Friday, NOVEMBER 18 * - HAHA (Hunger and Homelessness Awareness) Week
Heather Rice, Executive Asst/Program Coordinator, Whosoever Gospel Mission
“Hungry for More: Addressing the Root Causes of Hunger and Homelessness”
We have the desire to help our hungry and homeless neighbors, but it can be hard to figure out where to start. We know how to offer food, clothing and housing in Jesus' name, but the poverty we encounter runs deeper than physical need. In Christ, we are empowered and equipped to bring the transformative power of the Gospel to bear on every aspect of our neighbor's suffering as we encounter the Bread of Life who alone can satisfy the hunger that remains long after our stomachs are full. This Windows lecture is in collaboration with the Eastern University YACHT club (Youth Against Complacency and Homelessness Today).

Friday, DECEMBER 2 (to be held in the University Gym at St. Davids)
“The Micah 6:8 Imperative: Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly; Addressing the Justice Issues We Face Today”
Faculty and staff from Eastern University will engage in a panel discussion on the justice issues facing our country today. Race, gun violence, poverty, and others, along with their myriad connections, will be explored. The panel will be moderated by Megan D. Acedo, Coordinator of Student Ministries & Service Learning and Interim Director of INST 150.

Friday, DECEMBER 9
Music and Dance Departments, Eastern University
Eastern University's Music and Dance Departments will lead us in expressing the joy of this holy season.

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