Union University
Union University Dept of Language


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Past Events

True Marriage Equality: Man and Woman - Feb. 13, 2014

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Imagination and Patience - Feb. 25, 2013

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Listen to the Lecture | Lecture Handout (.pdf)

Leithart Lectures
Leithart Lectures

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This lecture will be focused on the Christian idea of beauty in all of its arresting strangeness-especially its insistence that an instrument of suffering and shame has become the Tree of Life, transforming human ugliness into divine loveliness. Specific attention will be given to the fiction of Flannery O'Connor, the poetry of G. K. Chesterton, and the hymnody of Isaac Watts.

Ralph C. Wood, University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University in Waco, Texas since 1998, holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Texas A&M University-Commerce, as well as M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. Before coming to Baylor, he served for 26 years on the faculty of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he was the John Allen Easley Professor of Religion. He has also taught at Samford University in Birmingham as well as Regent College in Vancouver, and he has held fellowships at the University of Notre Dame and Providence College. His books include The Comedy of Redemption: Christian Faith and Comic Vision in Four American Novelists (University of Notre Dame, 1988); Contending for the Faith: The Church's Engagement with Culture (Baylor, 2003); The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth (Westminster John Knox, 2004); Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South (Eerdmans, 2004); Literature and Theology (Abingdon, 2008); Preaching and Professing: Sermons by a Teacher Seeking to Proclaim the Gospel (Eerdmans, 2009); and Chesterton: The Nightmare Goodness of God (Baylor, 2011).

From 2001-2004, Dr. Grattan Brown did research in the area of religion and public policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. He later served as assistant professor of moral theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa. He has written on a number of bioethics issues, including rights of conscience in health care and the determination of death. He has taught courses in the foundations of moral theology, bioethics, Catholic Social Thought and sexuality and marriage. Originally from Memphis, he lives near Charlotte with his wife and three children.

Dr. Chris Hook attended medical school at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill. He completed residency programs in Medical Oncology, Hematology and Internal Medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. He currently works in the Division of Hematology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. His particular interests are acute leukemia, coagulation, benign hematology and medical ethics. Professional highlights include presenting at the Strauss Lectureship at Lincoln Christian College and Seminary and serving as a member of the Health and Human Services Advisors Committee on Genetics, Health and Society.

William P. Cheshire is a physician specializing in autonomic neurology. Since 1992 he has practiced at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, where he is professor of neurology and director of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory. Author of more than one hundred articles on neurology and medical ethics, he is past chair of the Autonomic Nervous System Section of the American Academy of Neurology and serves on the editorial board of Autonomic Neuroscience. He is also Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and Senior Research Fellow for Neuroethics at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. He contributes an ongoing series entitled "Grey Matters" to the journal Ethics and Medicine.

He received his A.B. in biochemical sciences from Princeton University, his M.A. in bioethics from Trinity International University, and his M.D. from West Virginia University. He completed a residency in neurology and fellowship in pain at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Cheshire lives on the northeastern coast of Florida with his wife and four children.

  • Speaker: David K. Naugle, chair and professor of philosophy, Dallas Baptist University
  • Topic: The Ordo Amoris-Augustinian Reflections on Human Happiness and the Order of the Loves"
    Or "What makes us happy in life?"
  • Based on Naugle's book, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness
  • Free and open to the public
  • Book signing to follow
  • Poster (.pdf)
  • For More Information, Contact: Justin Barnard, 731-661-5963, jbarnard@uu.edu

Lines that Divide Screening/Q&A with associate producer Jennifer Lahl
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Grant Center

Listen to C. Ben Mitchell and Jennifer Lahl's Q&A session after the film (.mp3)

Lines That Divide associate producer, Jennifer Lahl, is founder and national director of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, an organization working to shed light on the bioethics issues within our culture that most profoundly affect our humanity, and advancing the voice of a morally responsible science that respects the inherent value of humanity and that celebrates its beauty and complexity. Lahl couples her 25 years experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, hospital administrator and senior-level nursing management, with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl's' writings have appeared in various publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBC, PBS and NPR and called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address egg trafficking. She is founding director of Every Woman First and serves on the North American Editorial Board for Ethics and Medicine as well as Board of Reference for Joni Eareckson Tada's Institute on Disability. Learn More At Their Website

William Gray,
The Modern Medici: Arts Patronage in a Brave New World
Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 in Harvey Auditorium

Presented by Student Programs, the Society for Critical Imagination and the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Intellectual Discipleship

Our brave new world is one of instant downloads, file-sharing, viral videos and digital piracy. In this kind of social and economic climate, how does an independent artist survive? So questions "Broke" - the documentary film Americana hip-hop artist Will Gray currently has in production. As cameras follow Gray's journey across college campus this Spring promoting his unique sound, the documentary also listens in on the conversation he initiates about what is called for in this brave new world. Gray submits that this age, at least, calls for a new kind of patron, a "Modern Medici," if you will. Come here Will Gray reflect on the artistic life amid the instability of today's music industry.

Should we use medicine and technology to create a perfect world?
Will this make us happy?
Will this make us more human - or less?

Explore these issues with us at the January 2009 Town and Gown Lecture Series
Tuesdays, January 6, 13, 20, 27 & February 3, 2009
6:00-10:00 p.m. (except February 3 - meets 7:00-9:00 p.m.)
White Hall 102

D. Joy Riley, M.D.
Executive Director
Tennessee Center for Bioethics and Culture
January 13, 2009
Michael Poore
Executive Director
The Humanitas Project
January 20, 2009
Dr. Wilfred McClay
SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities
University of Tennessee – Chattanooga
February 3, 2009

Learn More at the Series Website

Dr. Wilfred McClay Mars Hill Forum Lecture - Feb. 4, 2009

Topic: "Does the Idea of Progress Have a Future? Three Christian Views"
Speaker: Dr. Wilfred McClay
SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities
University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

Time: 12 p.m. (noon)
Location: Carl Grant Events Center
Co-sponsored by Union's Center for Politics and Religion

Abstract: Like so much else about modernity, the idea of progress in history has gradually become problematic to us. Not only do many of us question the inevitability of progress, but the very idea that we would have any sure means of judging what progress is. But I contend that a reconsideration of the idea of progress from the standpoint of the Christian faith holds the prospect of a more adequate understanding of that idea. To begin exploring this possibility, my lecture draws upon a comparison of three important twentieth-century writers, Herbert Butterfield, Christopher Dawson, and Reinhold Niebuhr, each of whom brought Christian religious commitments to the problem, but in strikingly different ways.

Why We're Not Emergent
Mars Hill Forum
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Harvey Hall

Speakers: Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck
Authors of "Why We're Not Emergent: (By Two Guys Who Should Be)"
View the website

Visit the Conference Website
Call for Papers (.pdf)
Photos from Conference
Courtesy of Dale Tuggy, Associate Prof of Philosophy at SUNY Fredonia

Plenary Speakers:

Kelly James Clark
Kelly James Clark
Professor of Philosophy
Calvin College
Robin Collins
Robin Collins
Professor of Philosophy
Messiah College
Winfried Corduan
Winfried Corduan
Professor of Philosophy
Taylor University

Dr. Jorge L.A. GarciaMars Hill Forum Lecture - Feb. 1, 2008

Topic: "Racism as Vice: the Current Philosophical Debate"
Speaker: Dr. Jorge L.A. Garcia
Professor of Philosophy
Boston College

Time: 3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Harvey Hall

Speaker Bio: Dr. Jorge L.A. Garcia (Ph.D. Yale University) is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He is the author numerous articles and essays on a wide-range of topics in theoretical and applied ethics, such as racism, virtue theory, and biomedical ethics. He recently authored a forthcoming book, The Heart of Racism: Essays on Diversity, Race, and Relativism. Dr. Garcia is an advisory board member for the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture and a non-resident Fellow with the Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.