Religious language is odd and esoteric, said the Most Rev. Edward K. Braxton at the 5 p.m. Sunday Vesper service What is affirmed by faith is not immediately evident; it is more like meaningful or not meaningful. The faith journey is tied to the riddle of existence.
Most people seek to avoid embarrassment at all costs, but to Christopher Leighton, it’s evidence of the divine.
When talking about “The Pursuit of Happiness,” it becomes impossible to ignore the differences in happiness from one group of Americans to the next.
In Tuesday and Wednesday’s morning lectures, Robert Putnam and Charles Murray both argued that these differences depend on what social class a person is born into. Their solutions, however, are radically different.
Joseph Mghames had never been to the United States before from his home country of Lebanon, and he had only one thing on which to base his expectations: movies. And to the self-proclaimed movie addict’s surprise, some of the words, jokes and cultural idiosyncrasies he came across when he arrived in the U.S. carried the warm glow of familiarity.
Rabbi Debra Orenstein could boast of her impressive resume. She’s supported progressive movements such as LGBT rights and is an alumna of the first entering class at the Jewish Theological Seminary to include women. But when approaching Judaism in the 21st century, Orenstein wants to go back to the basics.
“In a sense, my lecture is very radical,” she said. “And in a sense, it could have been given 500 years ago.”
Orenstein, the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Israel in Emerson, N.J., will speak at 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy about the promise and limits of tradition and the promise and limits of change. She sees it all starting with a return to the essential values of the Hebrew Bible.
The Right Rev. Eugene Sutton started his Monday afternoon lecture with the facts: Christian churches throughout the United States are losing membership.
“With fewer and fewer notable exceptions, people — especially young people, the next greatest generation — are staying away from our churches,” said Sutton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.
Sutton opened Week Two’s Interfaith Lectures, themed “Religion and Spirituality” by discussing what churches ought to be doing to stay relevant to young people in the 21st century. He had four recommendations.
As a young man, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton was so fed up with religion that he thought the world might be safer without it.
Sutton has since regained faith in the church, but he is aware that many young people never do. Sutton, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, will explain in today’s 2 p.m Interfaith Lecture in the Hall of Philosophy how he plans to bring those young people back and why they chose to leave in the first place.
Jennifer Wiseman is an astronomer who does not cease to be in awe of the cosmos.
At 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater, Wiseman will lecture on the most recent astronomical findings of how the universe and its galaxies have matured over time, eventually making life possible on at least one planet. Then she will ask — just as many other lecturers have in the past week — what is humankind’s significance within this vast and elegant universe?
To believe. To have faith. It can be difficult.
H.L. Mencken said “Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.”
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Where there is hatred let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.”
So much for the gray area: Now consider atheists.
To put a historical perspective on the enigma of belief, Jon Schmitz, archivist and historian for Chautauqua, will present “Atheism at Chautauqua” at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ.
“I am here today to encourage the faithful in the work we have to do. There is opposition to God in the world — not denial, but opposition. Satan is pressing his cause, and it is time for the faithful to line up for spiritual warfare. It is time, as St. Paul said, to put on the whole armor of God,” said the Rev. Calvin Butts at Wednesday’s 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. His topic was “For Such a Time as This,” and his text was I John 5:4-5.