Week Eight dissects modern, historical radicalism

Individuals and movements that were at one time considered radical have shaped the course of history in politics, religion, philosophy, arts, literature and science. This week, Chautauqua’s 10:45 a.m. Amphitheater lecture platform examines different definitions of radicalism, its history at home and abroad, and how the meaning of radicalism differs throughout the world.

Opening the week is Carlin Romano, critic-at-large at The Chronicle of Higher Education, literary critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer and instructor of media theory and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is the author of America the Philosophical. In 2006, Romano was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism, cited by the Pulitzer Board “for bringing new vitality to the classic essay across a formidable array of topics.”

Julianne Malveaux, president emerita of Bennett College, will lecture Tuesday. A labor economist, noted author and social commentator, Malveaux contributes to public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender and their economic impacts. Malveaux is a syndicated weekly columnist whose writing has appeared in numerous publications. She is also founder and thought leader of Last Word Productions Inc., a multimedia production company headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, returns to Chautauqua to give Wednesday’s lecture. Dyson began his career as a mathematician but then turned to the exciting new developments in physics in the 1940s, particularly the theory of quantized fields. He wrote two papers on the foundations of quantum electrodynamics that have had a lasting influence on many branches of modern physics. His books for the general public include Disturbing the Universe, Weapons and Hope, Infinite in All Directions, The Scientist as Rebel, A Many-colored Glass and The Sun, the Genome and the Internet. In 2000, he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Dame Stella Rimington takes the Amphitheater stage on Thursday. Appointed director general of the British Security Service (MI5) in 1992, she was the first woman to hold the post and the first director general to be publicly named on appointment. Retired from that post since 1996, Rimington is a prolific author, having written an autobiography, Open Secret, and the novels Rip Tide, At Risk, Secret Asset, Illegal Action, Dead Line and Present Danger.

Closing the week on Friday is David Rohde, a foreign affairs columnist for Reuters and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for his reporting while with The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times. While reporting for the Times in November 2008, he and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped by the Taliban and held captive for seven months in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Rohde and his wife, Kristen Mulvihill, co-authored A Rope and A Prayer: A Kidnapping From Two Sides, in which, in alternating chapters, Rohde describes his abduction, captivity and eventual escape, and Mulvihill recounts her work with government and media officials to keep him alive and secure his release.

The Interfaith Lectures Series for Week Eight, at 2 p.m. each day in the Hall of Philosophy, examines the positives and negatives of radical thinking to discern when it produces burden or blessing.

Rabbi David Gordis, president emeritus of Hebrew College and professor at the University of Albany, will open the week on Monday. Gordis’ publications cover a range of topics, including rabbinics and areas of Jewish community concern, such as intermarriage, school vouchers, the synagogue, denominationalism and Jewish secularism.

Tuesday’s lecture will be given by Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, a movement of interfaith cooperation which enables people of all faiths and traditions to work together to promote the common good for all, with the purpose of proving that the 21st century can ultimately be defined by cooperation between diverse communities instead of conflict.

The Right Rev. John Bryson Chane, retired bishop of Washington, D.C., speaks Wednesday. Chane was a part of a four-member interfaith delegation of American religious and human rights leaders instrumental in freeing the American hikers who were held prisoner by Iranian authorities for a disputed border crossing from Afghanistan into Iran.

Lecturing Thursday is Philip Clayton, provost of Claremont Lincoln University and dean of Claremont School of Theology, whose research has focused on emergent dynamics in biology and on the neural correlates of consciousness in neuroscience.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, founding director of The Shalom Center since 1983, finishes the week Friday. Waskow has written several books and monographs about U.S. military strategy and disarmament, on race relations and on nonviolence.