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UCSB Capps Center: 2009 Lecture Series Presents Progressive Religious Voices

The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life at UCSB is presenting a series of free public lectures that address the topic of “Progressive Religious Voices: Changing Priorities & Shifting Alliances.”

The lectures are made possible, in part, by a Ford Foundation grant awarded to Wade Clark Roof, the J.F. Rowny professor of religion and society at UCSB, to reassess the changing role of religion in public life as it relates to social justice and a new agenda for social change.

On Saturday, author and pastor Brian D. McLaren will give a talk titled “Everything Must Change: Rediscovering Christian Faith as a Spiritual-Social Movement.” McLaren will discuss what he considers to be the most imperative global crises, how Christians are equipped to grapple with them, and how Christians can join with people of other backgrounds as advocates for change. He will speak at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido.

On March 22, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, will speak on “Being the Hands of God: Jewish Perspectives on America’s Social Justice Agenda.” His lecture examines the origins of that tradition in Jewish thought and its role in Jewish history, and he will discuss how those ideals are applied through the active pursuit of peace and justice. That lecture will take place in Victoria Hall, 33 W. Victoria St.

On April 2, Sister Joan D. Chittister, founder and director of Benetvision, a publisher of spiritual materials, will give a talk titled “Spirituality and Culture” and their implications for contemporary spirituality. Her presentation focuses on the stages of revitalization, global definitions of the seven capital sins, and American society as it moves into the 21st century. Her lecture will be held at The Marjorie Luke Theatre, 721 E. Cota St.

On May 3, Edina Lekovic, communications director of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, will give a lecture titled “In Our Own Words: A Changing Agenda in Muslim America.” Lekovic will speak in Victoria Hall.

On May 24, the Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, theology professor at the Chicago Theological Seminary and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, will speak on “Citizens Cain and Abel: Theological Anthropology and Progressive Religion.” Thistlethwaite will discuss the tendency of Americans — and social policy — to alternate between optimistic and pessimistic views of human nature. She will examine how a more theologically informed view of human nature can help avoid these drastic swings and bring greater balance to public policy. That lecture will be held in Victoria Hall.

Click here for more information or call Leonard Wallock, associate director of the Walter H. Capps Center, at 805.893.2317.


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