Timothy K. Beal, Ph.D. - Florence Harkness Professor of Religion and Director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University
Friday October 10, 2008
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Case Western Reserve University
“It seems to me,” Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “that I can see the entire destiny of America contained in the first Puritan who came ashore.” American political thinking is permeated by religious attitudes and metaphors, from the civil rights movement to President Reagan’s (and John Winthrop’s) “city on the hill.” At the same time, every religion instructs its believers about humanity’s relationship to nature; and environmental and ecological movements even have some of the attributes of religion, defining human beings’ obligations to each other and to the entire world, within beliefs about creation and destruction.
Political attitudes about the environment therefore are highly likely to be driven, whether in obvious or subtle ways, by religious beliefs. In this election year, then, what is the pattern of beliefs about religion and ecology held by political leaders, particularly presidents and candidates? We could not find a better person to lead a discussion of this timely question than Professor Beal, who not only teaches a course on religion and ecology, but is one of the most creative and productive scholars on our faculty. His most recent books are Religion in America: A Very Short Introduction, and The End of the Word As We Know It, both published this year.
As usual, we will gather in Room 9 of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, on the lower level of Crawford Hall, for free cookies, beverages, and brown bag lunch.
About Our Guest
Timothy K. Beal Professor Beal is the author of many books and articles, including Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith (Beacon, 2005), which was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and one of Publishers Weekly’s ten best Religion Books of 2005; Religion and Its Monsters (Routledge 2002), which was a Reviews in Religion and Theology Editor’s Choice; and The Book of Hiding: Gender, Ethnicity, and Annihilation in Esther (Routledge, 2007). He has published essays on religion and American culture for The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Professor Beal is the co-editor, with Tod Linafelt of Georgetown University, of the book series Afterlives of the Bible with the University of Chicago Press, and he formerly directed the university’s Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. His website, http://www.timothybeal.com, provides an overview of his work, and an excerpt from his new book on Religion in America can be found at http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0195321073/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link.
Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:
October 17: Murder Genes and Dangerous Minds: New Roles for Genetics and Neuroscience in the Courts?, with Gary Marchant, Lincoln Professor of Ethics in Law and Emerging Technology, Arizona State University.
October 24: Seniors in the 2008 Election with Robert H. Binstock, Professor of Aging, Health and Society.
October 31: Halloween Special: Election Preview with Karen Beckwith, Professor of Political Science; Justin Buchler, Assistant Professor of Political Science; and Andrew Lucker, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science.
November 7: Responding to the Foreclosure Crisis with Jim Rokakis, Cuyahoga County Treasurer.
November 14: Charging for Car Insurance by the Mile: Good Business and Good for Energy and the Environment? With Richard Hutchinson, General Manager for the “My Rate” program, Progressive Insurance.
November 21: TBA
November 28: Thanksgiving Break
December 5: TBA
The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of
Crawford Hall. Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made. On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion.
Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building. The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch. On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.
For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see http://policy.case.edu.