Throughout the 2013 Season, select speakers at Chautauqua Institution — specifically chaplains in residence — have cast technological innovation in a pessimistic light. But it is not the criticism of smartphones and video games that is problematic. Rather, it is the sheer lack of a response to this criticism which serves as a reminder: The Institution has historically offered very little programming on technology and culture.
Chris Stedman was unlike any of the other Week Two speakers, which all focused on the theme of religion and spirituality in the next generation. For one thing, he is part of the next generation, at 26 years young. And his lecture was not really about religion or spirituality; Stedman is an atheist — and an interfaith activist, to boot.
At 2 p.m. Thursday in the Hall of Philosophy, Stedman delivered an Interfaith Lecture titled “Finding Our Common Humanity: Building Bridges Between Atheists and Believers.” He began his lecture by answering the obvious question, “Why would an atheist care about interfaith work?”
Chris Stedman was an Evangelical Christian who eventually came out twice: once as gay and once as an atheist.
Stedman, the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard University and Values in Action coordinator for the Humanist Community, will speak about the importance of uniting theists and atheists at the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture today in the Hall of Philosophy.