THE ORR EVENTS 2023
Thursday, November 9, 7 pm Eastern, online or in-person at Huron
50th Annual R. T. Orr Lecture
A free public lecture; registration required
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 915 1305 1833
Healing Desire: Hindu and Buddhist Wisdom for Our Post-Truth Predicament
Since 2016, when “post-truth” became Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s word of the year, there has been a growing alarm that truth has become imperiled. A wide range of solutions have been proposed. Almost all involve doubling down on Enlightenment principles: improve critical reasoning skills, improve digital and information literacy, and enhance science education. These solutions will fail, and fail spectacularly. Tragically, not a single proposal recognizes that at heart, the root problem rests not in the mind narrowly construed but in the disconnection of the heart from the mind or desiring from knowing. We cannot know if we do not want to know. What we need, as Hindu and Buddhist traditions can teach us, is an account of critical desiring not just a thinned-out account of critical thinking. Pre-modern Christian theologians knew better than to divorce desiring from knowing or love from truth. An encounter with traditions that never forgot this truth can equip Christian theologians to retrieve a rich account of how we might heal desire so as to gain access to truth.
Friday, November 10, 1-3 pm Eastern, Online via Zoom,
A Workshop for Clergy, Church Leaders, and Theological Students
With Archdeacon Rosalyn Elm; registration required
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Meeting ID: 984 0106 0317
The Hospitality of Receiving: Reimagining Mission After Colonialism
In little-read addresses given by Mahatma Gandhi to Christian missionaries, Gandhi argues that his listeners come to India only to give but not to receive. Gandhi identifies this asymmetrical posture as wounding. To hold that India has nothing to give or teach is to demean. What is needed is a hospitality not only of giving but receiving marked by an open-heartedness that seeks to learn not just to teach. What Gandhi attributed to Christian missionaries in India holds also for Christian missions in North America. Therefore, Gandhi’s proposal should matter to Canadians as well. In this workshop, Thatamanil will argue for a hospitality of receiving; there can be no escape from a colonial mindset without radically reconfiguring our understanding of hospitality.
About the Rev. John Thatamanil, MDiv, PhD (Boston)
Professor of Theology & World Religions and Director of the Insight Project: Theology & Natural World at Union Theological Seminary in New York, Dr. Thatamanil is also Volunteer Priest Associate and Diocesan Theologian at the Anglican Church of St. John the Divine in Victoria, BC. He is committed to the work of comparative theology—theology that learns from, and with, a variety of traditions. A central question that drives his work is, “How can Christian communities come to see religious diversity as a promise rather than as a problem?”
A regular blogger for online publications, he has also published editorials in The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.
He frequently preaches and lectures in churches and universities in the US and around the world. Huron's Faculty of Theology is very happy to offer you the opportunity to hear Dr. Thatamanil speak at the Orr events this year!