Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—A lecture series titled "Religious Foundations of Western Civilizations" will be offered this spring by the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. Free and open to the public, the lectures will be held in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The series, developed by the Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Bard, and 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 history 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, "Defining 'Religion' and 'the West'," will be presented by William Scott Green, professor of religion, Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Judaic Studies, and dean of the college at the University of Rochester, on Tuesday, February 3. The second lecture, "The Modernization of Christianity: Renaissance and Reformation," will be presented on Thursday, April 8, by Professor Chilton. John Pruitt, associate professor of film at Bard, will screen a film on Thursday, April 22, which he will then discuss on Tuesday, April 27, in the lecture "Media of Culture: The Moving Image." Professor Neusner will discuss "The Modernization of Judaism" on Thursday, April 29. The series will conclude with a lecture by Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, "The Secularization of Culture: The Case of Music," on Thursday, May 6.

The Institute of Advanced Theology was established to foster critical understanding based on scholarship, which aims to 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 from members of the Institute, the Crohn Family Trust, and Tisch Family Foundation, as well as grants from The Levy Economics Institute 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 01-22-2004