29th April Encounters series. Join community members in critical small group discussion about the U.S. Constitution.

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Join community members in critical small group discussion about the U.S. Constitution.

The Encounters series is a public discussion program created by a partnership with the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library, UConn’s Humanities Institute, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The partners provide discussion leaders to engage in topics aimed at strengthening our ability to know ourselves and one another through respectful and challenging dialogue.

For more information about the Encounters series visit our page.

Please read the U.S. Constitution prior to the event: http://constitutionus.com/

Hartford History Center
500 Main St, Hartford, Connecticut 06103

National Issues Forum: Moderator Training Interested in supporting democratic dialogue and deliberation? Learn to be a National Issues Forum Moderator!

National Issues Forum

In partnership with the Dodd Center, and E.O. Smith High School, Humility & Conviction in Public Life hosted a National Issues Forum (NIF) Moderator Training designed to introduce participants to the concepts, skills, and issues associated with moderating and recording public deliberations that could facilitate intellectually humble dialogue. This was followed by a forum with students and faculty from E.O. Smith High School. Run by Glenn Mitoma (Dodd Center), and planned in collaboration with Joe Goldman (E.O. Smith) and Brendan Kane (HCPL), the forum considered the issues of food justice and security, making use of the brand new NIF Guide:Land of Plenty: How Should We Ensure that People Have the Food They Need?.pdf


There were over 130 E.O. Smith students, and was facilitated by UConn undergrads, graduate students, staff, and UConn and E.O. Smith faculty.

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The Quiet Power of Humility | Peter Wehner at NYTimes

The Quiet Power of Humility

April 15, 2017

“Over breakfast with a social psychologist I know, I asked him what constructive contribution Christians could make to public life. An atheist who finds much to admire in religion, he answered simply: “Humility.”

That is a perfectly reasonable hope. Unfortunately, however, humility is a neglected Christian virtue. This is rather odd, given that humility should be a defining trait of Christians. The resurrection, celebrated by Christians throughout the world on Easter Sunday, was made possible only by an act of unsurpassed humility…”

Read the full piece by Peter Wehner at the NYTimes here.

Congratulations to Associate Prof. Micki McElya (H&C Core Faculty) whose book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

Finalist: The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery, by Micki McElya (Harvard University Press)

For a luminous investigation of how policies and practices at Arlington National Cemetery have mirrored the nation’s fierce battles over race, politics, honor and loyalty.Politics of Mourning, McElya

José Casanova on “Religious Conviction and Intellectual Humility in Public Life: Socio-Theological Reflections”, 4:00-5:30pm, April 21

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Keynote Address

Jose CasanovaJosé Casanova, Georgetown University

Keynote address: 4:00-5:30pm, April 21st (reception to follow)

Religious Conviction and Intellectual Humility in Public Life: Socio-Theological Reflections

What does it mean to have a religious conviction in our global secular age? Why is it necessary that when we enter public life, even if motivated by deeply held religious convictions, our public interventions ought to be informed by intellectual humility? In addressing these questions I will proceed with the assumption that our age is characterized by profound religious, cultural and moral pluralism, that requires that we encounter the other with deep intellectual humility and respect. Precisely because not truths or convictions but persons have rights, each person has the inalienable right to seek the truth and to hold his/her convictions publicly. I will ground my reflections on the historical experiences of the Jesuits as pioneer globalizers in the early modern age, and on the deeds and words of the Jesuit Pope Francis.  The Jesuits combined a deep religious conviction as global missionaries with a peculiar openness, controversial at their time, to accommodate other cultures and to enter into deep intercultural encounters, what Pope Francis calls the “culture of the encounter.”

José Casanova is Professor of Sociology, Theology and Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, where he heads the Program on Religion, Globalization, and the Secular. He is also a Professorial Fellow at Australian Catholic University, in Melbourne, where he directs a project on Asian/Pacific Catholicism and Globalization. Previously he served as Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York and has held visiting appointments at numerous American and European universities. He has published widely in the areas of sociological theory, religion and politics, transnational migration, and globalization. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago, 1994) has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into various languages, including Japanese, Arabic, and Turkish, and is forthcoming in Indonesian, Farsi, and Chinese. Presently he holds the Kluge Chair for Societies and Cultures of the Northern Hemisphere at the Library of Congress, where he is writing a book on “The Jesuits and Globalization.” He is also the recipient of the 2012 Salzburger Hochschulwochen Theological Prize.

April 11th, 2017. The Public Discourse Project Seminar: Ufuk Topkara (H&C Fellow, University of Paderborn)

Title: Wounded certainty: Is God dead or can we break through the barriers between theology and philosophy in Islam?

Time & Place: 4-5:30pm, Babbidge Library, 4th Floor, Room 4/209.

Abstract: Modern times have witnessed a severing of the linkages between scientific knowledge and Islamic theology, not least of all in the lived public sphere. A misperception or rather misconception of this severing as a “natural” divorce has been further promulgated.

This presentation will instead elaborate how a religious tradition can learn and grow through the challenges posed by philosophical reasoning, compelled to search for meaning of, and humility within, the human experience. By elucidating not only similarities but the actual integration of key philosophical ideas into the “mainstream” Islamic, one can encourage a rethinking of the widespread assumption that these traditions should be in conflict. At the end, these inquiries can introduce a new paradigm to Islamic-Philosophical Theology debates, in which the human subject—his/her shortcomings, hopes and anxieties—takes center stage.

‘Intellectual humility’ could be key to becoming a better person, scientists say | Andrew Griffin at the Independent

The study is rare in looking at the ‘wallflower among personality traits’

“Showing “intellectual humility” – recognising that you might be wrong about what you believe – is a reliable marker of how good people are at making choices and understanding, according to a new study.

The personality trait is little studied but doing so could shed light on how people make decisions in politics, health and other arenas, according to the researchers from Duke University.”

Read the full article by Andrew Griffin here at the Independent.

 

Talk by John Duffy (Notre Dame). Radical Humilities: Post-Truth, Ethics, and the Teaching of Writing

April 7, 12:00-1:30 PM

Student Union 330 (Student Union Ballroom) Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing

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The notion of “post-truth,” declared by the editors of Oxford Dictionaries as the 2016 international word of the year and “one of the defining words of our time,” speaks to the social and cultural trends in which there is no widely shared agreement as to the nature of a fact, or what counts as factual evidence, or how to interpret what evidence may be presented. The result is a polarized public discourse in which the meaning of such terms as truthfulness, accountability, open-mindedness, and intellectual integrity seem increasingly out of reach.

In his talk, John Duffy of the University of Notre Dame explores what it means to be an ethical writer in an age of “post-truth” and the indispensable role of of teachers of writing in addressing the fractured condition of public argument in the United States

TED 2017. Michael P. Lynch Director of the Humanities Institute and Philosopher. Wednesday, April 26.

TED 2017

TED2017: A week to explore the most pressing questions of our time. In these mainstage sessions (including one in Spanish) we’ll ask – and try to answer – the big questions of the moment.


Wednesday, April 26

8:30AM – 10:15AM PDT

See Complete program


Michael Patrick Lynch examines truth, democracy, public discourse and the ethics of technology in the age of big data.

Michael Patrick Lynch is a writer and professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, where he directs the Humanities Institute. His work concerns truth, democracy, public discourse and the ethics of technology. Lynch is the author or editor of seven books, including The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data, In Praise of Reason: Why Rationality Matters for Democracy, Truth as One and Many and the New York Times Sunday Book Review Editor’s pick, True to Life.

The recipient of the Medal for Research Excellence from the University of Connecticut’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, he is The Principal Investigator for Humility & Conviction in Public Life, a $7 million project aimed at understanding and encouraging meaningful public discourse funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the University of Connecticut. He’s a frequent contributor to the New York Times “The Stone” blog.

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March 28th, 2017. The Public Discourse Project Seminar: Robert Ingram (Ohio University)

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Reformation Without End: Religion, Politics and the Past, Then and Now.
 
This talk considers polemical divinity in Enlightenment England and its potential relevance for public debate today. The talk explains why we should think of the English Enlightenment not as the first chapter in the story of secular modernity but rather as a late chapter in the story of the Reformation. In addition, it considers how conceiving of England’s Enlightenment in that way might help us to think differently about public discourse today.
Babbidge Library, 4th Floor, Room 4/209