Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.--A lecture series titled "Religious Foundations of Western Civilizations" will be offered this fall by the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. Free and open to the public, the lectures (except as noted) will be held in the multipurpose room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The series, developed by Jacob Neusner, Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College, is held in conjunction with the undergraduate theology course of the same title. The series will survey principal points in the formation of the West at which religion (mainly Christianity, but also Judaism and Islam) defined the social order and dictated the shape of culture.

The first lecture, "The Christian State: Its Ramifications through History," will be presented by Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton and Professor Neusner on Wednesday, September 11. The second lecture, "The Christian Society, the Judaic Counterpart," will be presented on Wednesday, October 2, with Professors Chilton and Neusner. On Wednesday, November 6, professors Chilton and Neusner will explore the topic, "The Intellectual Challenge to the Religious Order and the Response of the Christian Intellect."

On Tuesday, December 3, at 7:00 p.m., John Pruitt, associate professor of film at Bard, will screen a film in the Weis Cinema. He will discuss the film the following evening (Wednesday, December 4), in the lecture "From Sacred Narrative to Secular Story."

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, will present the lecture, "Art and Faith: The Secularization of Music," on Wednesday, December 11. And the series concludes with the lecture, "Is Christianity at War with Islam," on Wednesday, December 18, with professors Chilton and Neusner, who will be joined by T. Emil Homerin, professor of religious studies and chair of the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester.

The Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College was established to foster critical understanding, based on scholarship, that will make true religious pluralism possible. Since its inception in 1996, the Institute?s work has focused on how religions influence history, society, and other religions, and are in turn influenced by them. The Institute gratefully acknowledges support provided by members of the Institute, the Crohn Family Trust, and the Tisch Family Foundation, as well as grants from The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Council of Learned Societies, and Bard College.

For further information, call the Institute office at 845-758-7279, e-mail, or visit the website

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This event was last updated on 08-14-2002