Apr 172017
 
 April 17, 2017  Tagged with:

Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, recently co-wrote an article for ABC Religion and Ethics, “A Sanctuary Politics: Being the Church in the Time of Trump

In these fear inducing times, Christians can find sanctuary in the body of Christ as the politics through which God gives God’s people everything they need to be faithful. Christians can lean into the church as the impetus for political action, and the church as itself political action, by way of an account of history that inscribes the church as sanctuary for the oppressed wherever and however they are oppressed.

Read the article here.

Apr 172017
 
 April 17, 2017  Tagged with:

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and African and African American Studies, Joseph Winters, was recently interviewed for Princeton Alumni Weekly. Winters

In it, Winters discusses his recent book, Hope Draped in Black:

The American way of thinking can be quite optimistic. We tend to embrace the idea that the future will always be better, and hope is seen as the opposite of the melancholic and the tragic. But it seems to me that the melancholic can actually make us aware of the suffering that has been — and continues to be — part of our world. It ensures that we don’t forget. So our hope for a better world really becomes dependent on the idea that we can continue to acknowledge suffering and violence and tragedy, in our past and in our present.

Read the interview here.

Mar 292017
 
 March 29, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Undergraduate and graduate students invited to apply. Rolling application deadline during Spring 2017.

The Religions and Pubic Life Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, in collaboration with the Duke Center for Jewish Studies, is pleased to announce a summer short course, July 12-17, on religious exchange and historical collaboration among the three Abrahamic Religions at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. A competitive fellowship to attend is available, funded by the Center for Jewish Studies.

Download the syllabus and find application instructions here.

For any questions, contact Amber Díaz Pearson.

Mar 282017
 
 March 28, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Imam Abdullah Antepli , left, shares a laugh with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks during the pair’s public talk, “Civility & Difference.”

In front of a crowd filled with Duke and Durham community members of a variety of faiths, two religious leaders urged about 200 people March 27 to see humanity as the overriding feature that can unite people across beliefs, cultures and geographical boundaries.

In a discussion co-sponsored by Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Imam Abdullah Antepli spoke about their personal journeys through religion, and how engaging in inter-religious dialogue has made them better people and deepened their appreciation for all religion.

“The true, beating heart of monotheism isn’t ‘one god, one truth, one way,’ but the unity in heaven creates diversity down here on Earth,” said Sacks, a British philosopher, scholar and former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. “It is in our particularity that is born our universality.”

The talk, moderated by Ellen Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at the Duke Divinity School, highlighted the experiences of Sacks and Antepli as a way to show the value of civility among differences. Throughout their conversation, both men stressed how interacting with people outside their religions has shaped their life in positive ways.

“When I became an Imam, understanding Judaism and Christianity and Hinduism and Buddhism became an essential part of my intellectual and theological work,” said Antepli, Duke’s Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs and a Senior Fellow for the Duke Office of Civic Engagement. “It also became an essential response for problem solving.”

For example, Antepli said, he may spend just as much time – if not more – with people of other faith systems as he does the Muslim community. Doing so creates a deeper connection to his own religion at the same time he came to learn and appreciate others, he said.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, left, speaks to the audience while answering a question from Professor Ellen Davis, right.

Love, Sacks echoed, is what can be found at the heart of religion and allows inter-faith relationships to develop. He spoke of Mitzvah Day, an annual event for faith-based social action started in 2005, where members of England’s Jewish community volunteered time to offer acts of kindness to people outside their religion. By 2010, British Hindu organizations got involved, which also led to Muslims and Christians joining. Within a decade, each religious community decided to take part as a way to move beyond differences in beliefs to better the lives of others, Sacks said. Instead of face-to-face, they began interacting side-by-side.

“The beauty of side-by-side is it involves no theology, it’s street level and what it does isn’t produce agreement, it produces friendship,” Sacks said. “When you have friendship, you discover the people not ‘like us’ are people like us. When that happens, conversation can begin. It’s not easy, but when it is there, rooted in an existing friendship, it becomes real and it becomes strong.”

Duke and local community members are invited to Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ public talk at 5:30 p.m. March 28, “Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence,” the 2017 Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture. The event will be held at the Fleishman Commons in the Sanford School of Public Policy. For more information, visit this website.

Mar 212017
 
 March 21, 2017  Tagged with:

What practices make it possible for human beings to flourish? How do we sustain those practices in a contemporary context?

These questions have stirred and motivated Dr. Farr Curlin in his research and work as a hospice and palliative care physician.

“I knew for years that I wanted to be a physician, and it frustrated me that in medical training we never talked about what medicine is for, nor about how to become the physicians we knew we were called to be,” said Curlin, the Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities and a Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. “I started encouraging students and colleagues to reason together about how to make use of medicine wisely in order to fulfill our obligations to care for one another and to live well within the limits and frailties of the human body.”

For nearly 15 years, the motivations for entering his profession have led Curlin to work with colleagues to foster scholarship, study, and training regarding the intersections of medicine, ethics, and religion. These motivations also led Curlin to the Kenan Institute for Ethics, where he hopes a new collection of research projects, interdisciplinary seminars, conferences, and courses of study will encourage faculty and students to investigate the characteristics of a life well lived and to reflect on the nature and purpose of being human.

This summer, Curlin will begin a new project called the Arete Initiative, named after the Greek word for human excellence. The initiative will be launched with philanthropic support and seeks to form a network of faculty across Duke. Taking inspiration from “classical, Aristotelian, virtue ethics,” the project will focus on “recovering and sustaining the virtues in contemporary life, especially in the workplace, the university, and the public square.”

“We’ll focus on business, law, teaching, medicine, and other domains of work for which Duke students are preparing,” Curlin said. “Instead of first asking, ‘what is allowed or not allowed?’ Rather, we will take a step back and ask, ‘What characterizes a good business leader? A good lawyer? A good teacher?’ What are the virtues and characteristics of those we take to be exemplars of these practices, and of human life more broadly?”

Curlin joined Duke University in 2014 and holds joint appointments in the School of Medicine, including its Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine, and in Duke Divinity School, including its Initiative on Theology, Medicine and Culture. After graduating from medical school, he completed internal medicine residency training and fellowships in both health services research and clinical ethics at the University of Chicago before joining its faculty in 2003.

Nov 142016
 
 November 14, 2016

KIE Senior Fellow and Duke Divinity professor, Luke Bretherton, recently had an article on Brethertonthe Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Religion and Ethics website, entitled, “How to Go On? Democratic Politics in the Age of Trump.”

In it, Bretherton considers how Christians might move forward in a precarious political landscape like America’s current one, building bridges of relationship and communication with those with whom they disagree without overlooking gross injustices that work against a good and common life.

Read the article here.

Oct 282016
 
 October 28, 2016  Tagged with:

The Duke Interreligious Scholars Program provides a context for students of multiple religious and nonreligious identities to build relationships, work on social issues of shared concern, connect their (non)religious identities with civic life and their professional goals, and increase their religious and interreligious literacy. The program combines curricular and co-curricular opportunities with intentional living, service, and social action. Visit the website for more information.

Sep 272016
 
 September 27, 2016

campus-grants-400The Campus Grants program allows members of the Duke community to incorporate ethics into their own work. Grants of up to $500 are available to all members of the Duke community—students, faculty, and staff—to support initiatives that promote ethical or moral reflection, deliberation, and dialogue at Duke and beyond.

We welcome diverse perspectives and submissions from organizations and individuals in all areas of the University and the Medical Center. Campus Grant funding provides support for speakers, workshops, meetings, curriculum development, publications, organizational collaborations, and other activities. Travel grants for attending conferences or other individual activities will not be awarded. 

To view previous awardees, visit the Campus Grants page.

For consideration, the application form must be completed and sent to amber.diaz@duke.edu.

Download the form now: Word.

Aug 242016
 
 August 24, 2016

BrethertonKIE Senior Fellow and Duke Divinity professor, Luke Bretherton, recently had an article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Religion and Ethics website, entitled, “Attacks on Joy: Munich, Nice, Orlando, Utoeya and the Nature of Evil.”

In it, Bretherton considers the notions of joy and of moral judgment, the language of “evil,” and also explores what was “morally distinctive about the mass murders in Nice, Orlando and Utoeya, and…contrast(s) them with the recent attack in Munich and those that are analogous to it.”

Read the article here.