Student Opportunities


2017 Opportunities:

In late March, Rabbi Sacks will present on the multi-faceted role of religious dialogue in public spaces that you don’t want to miss. Rabbi Sacks was recently named the winner of the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” On March 6 we will be welcoming Sanford visiting associate professor Ian MacMullen as part of our Monday Seminar Series. MacMullen will be speaking on his  research and his recently published book,  Civics Beyond Critics: Character Education in a Liberal Democracy On March 7, we will have a Lunchtime Book Roundtable f
eaturing Duke doctoral student in History, Danish Faruqi, and the book he co-edited with Dalia Fahmy, entitled, Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism: Illiberal Intelligentsia and the Future of Egyptian Democracy.

Previous Opportunities:

This fall, Religions and Public Life will be hosting a storytelling workshop for students as part of the “Inside Story” series.  Jeff Polish from The Monti in Durham will mentor students and faculty in live storytelling that explores the relationship between storytelling and the moral life, and they will then perform the stories unscripted for the Duke community. Students interested in participatiSound-wavesng should bring ideas on the theme of “Betrayal” to an information session on Thursday, September 10 at 7:00pm in West Duke Building 101. The final performance will be Thursday, October 22 at the Duke Coffee House, starting at 7:00PM.

February 1-5, Father Greg Boyle, or “Father G,” as he is known, will serve as a Kenan Practitioner in Residence and will engage students, faculty, and the community about his work. Homeboy Industries began when a concerned group of Angelenos, led by Father G, asked a simple question: “Can we improve the health and safety of our community through jobs and education rather than through suppression and incarceration?” In 1988, members of the Dolores Mission Church and Father G found a few caring business owners willing to hire former gang members and “Jobs for a Future” was created. Thousands of young people have since walked through the doors of Homeboy Industries looking for a second chance, and finding community. Homeboy Industries is recognized as the largest and most successful gang intervention and re-entry program in the world, and has become a national model.


Cultivating Community 400The Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke Service Learning Program, and Duke Chapel held an intensive three-day Alternative Fall Break program on food and interfaith dialogue. It provided students the ability to learn more about how food can be used to address some of the Triangle’s longstanding cultural and social divisions and to connect with faculty and religious leaders for a deep dive into the diverse, often complicated religious and social fabric of the city.

The Triangle has become famous as an area that takes food seriously. From farmers’ markets and community gardens to a renowned restaurant scene, food brings people together here. Yet in the midst of this food renaissance, significant numbers of people continue to struggle with access to good food. For many newcomers to this consciously Southern community finding the right food can also be a challenge. This is particularly true for many of the religious communities that now call the Triangle home. Productive engagement among people with fundamentally different beliefs is hard work. The program allowed a serious approach to interfaith dialogue, working to understand the profound differences of perspective and belief that characterize different faiths, while appreciating the food traditions and approaches of various religions. The program gave both religious and secular students an opportunity to cultivate a common community interested in making space for everyone at the table.