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Philosophy & Religion | Durfee Lecture Series

The Annual Durfee Lecture was initiated by a generous gift from Harold A. Durfee and Doris G. Durfee.  Held every spring, the series provides our students and colleagues with the opportunity to meet distinguished thinkers.

Current Lecture
Religious Difference without Religious Conflict

Stephen Prothero
Professor of Religion
Boston University

March 18th, 2015
3:30pm, Butler Board Room
Abstract: When looking at the world's religions, those who see a "clash of civilizations" are convinced that religious differences inevitably lead to religious conflict. So do many who believe "all religions are one." Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam must be essentially the same or they are fated to clash. In this lecture, Prothero argues that the differences across the religions cannot be erased, but that does not mean religious people cannot figure out how to get along.

Stephen Prothero is a Professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University and the author of numerous books, most recently The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation (HarperOne 2012), God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter (HarperOne, 2010) and the New York Times bestseller Religious Literacy: What Americans Need to Know (HarperOne, 2007). He has commented on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs, and on television on CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, and PBS. He was also a guest on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, "The Colbert Report," and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." He was also the chief editorial consultant for the six-hour WGBH/PBS television series "God in America" (2010). A regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, he has also written for the New York Times, Slate, Salon, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. In 2010, he was invited to speak about religious literacy at the White House. During 2012-13 he was a fellow at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History. Prothero received his BA from Yale in American Studies and his PhD in the Study of Religion from Harvard. He lives on Cape Cod, and he tweets @sprothero.

Past Lectures

The Religious-Secular Binary as a Space of Pluralism
Slavica Jakelic
Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Thought
Valparaiso University
Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture
University of Virginia
God's Fifth Abode: Entrepreneurial Faith in the Hindu Himalayas
Brian K. Pennington
Chair, Division of Humanities; Professor of Religion
Maryville College
Islam and Human Rights: Religious and Secular in Conversation
Abdulaziz Sachedina
Frances Myers Ball Professor of Religious Studies
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
A for Antigone: Reading Derrida's Differance Again
Amy Hollywood
Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies
 Harvard Divinity School

Sheep Gone Astray:
The Tragic History of the Religious Right

Randall Balmer
Professor of American Religious History
Bernard College, Columbia University

Religion and National Conflict: Reflections on Myanmar, Iraq, and Other Current Examples
David Little
Professor of the Practice in Religion, Ethnicity, and
International Conflict, Harvard Divinity School;
Fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

Parmenides in the 21st Century
Harold A. Durfee
Professor Emeritus
Department of Philosophy and Religion
American University