For many, self-reported life satisfaction has been on a decline for the past 10 years. Why? Is human happiness (flourishing) possible and what does it consist of? Would an engineering approach to designing your life move us toward a fulfilling solution? This seminar, taught by Prof. David Sanchez, explores data, research studies, theories and proposals on the timeless question of happiness and human flourishing. Come join us for weekly meetings in Benedum Hall, room 229.
Join us Sunday, January 20, from 7:00 to 9:00, for a dinner with PGH Christian Studies fellows and faculty. This is a wonderful time to bring friends who are interested in the program!
Dinner will be held at the home of our Director, Prof. Ryan McDermott. You can get there by taking the 61C and walking about five minutes. E-mail email@example.com if you'd like information about carpooling.
In the early 6th century, Western Europe was in chaos. The Roman Empire had fallen, and the structure and order that marked the Roman world had crumbled. Within that chaotic time, St. Benedict wrote a little book of precepts and rules to govern the life of his monastery in the hills above Monte Cassino in southern Italy. By the 9th century, nearly all Christian monasteries lived under the Rule of St. Benedict. This little book provided the structure and discipline that the Benedictine monks needed to begin the work of revitalizing the spiritual and economic order of Western Europe. But, what might the Rule of St. Benedict offer us today?
Zygmaut Bauman, eminent Polish philosopher and sociologist, describes our age as one of “liquid modernity.” Like 6th century Europe, the institutions and belief structures that have been so central to the lives of the citizens of the West have been crumbling and seem to be unable to hold. College might also be described as an especially “liquid time.” We move away from our homes and begin to learn and be exposed to theories and lifestyles that challenge our most core beliefs. Like the monks of Monte Cassino, the Rule of St. Benedict may provide college students with a way to create little monasteries in their dorms and in their hearts. These monasteries might serve as ordered spaces in which students can grow spiritually, developing a foundation from which they can keep their head above the waves of a liquid age. In this PGH CS seminar, we will host six weekly meetings to read and discuss sections of the Rule of St Benedict and think about practical ways to apply the Rule of St. Benedict to our everyday lives. There will be no prep work; all reading will be done during the seminar.
Join PGH CS on a day trip to visit a nearby Bruderhof community. Come spend time with new and old friends and learn about living in an intentional Christian community.
More details to come!
If you’d like to learn more about the Bruderhof, check out their website here.
Come celebrate one of Pittsburgh’s greatest jazz musicians, Mary Lou Williams, who grew up in East Liberty and went on to found the Pittsburgh jazz festival. A convert to Catholicism, she composed many hymns and works of sacred music—including a jazz Mass. PGH Christian Studies will host a performance-lecture at the auditorium in Bellefield Hall, University of Pittsburgh, December 1 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Students at a university are often confronted with a stark choice by vocal advocates of two contentious positions: ignore scientists and the alleged science of our origins and cling only to a biblical perspective of creation science, or recognize the vast body of science that describes our natural origins and ignore the fables and myths in Genesis. This seminar presents a different perspective that requires careful thought. We will discuss how one can maintain an uncompromising view of the inspiration of the scriptures while understanding and appreciating the wealth of science related to the origins of the universe, earth, life and humans.
If possible please read Genesis 1-11 during the 2 weeks before this presentation. A free copy of Dr Enick’s book on this subject will be provided to all attendees.
A one night event with dinner included
939 Benedum Engineering Hall (9th floor by elevators; the chemical engineering graduate lounge)
PGH Christian Studies will sponsor fellows to attend Terra Incognita, a literary gathering dedicated to exploring the "terrain of the unknown." Terra Incongnita will include a poetry reading by Ryan Wilson and a workshop with novelist Rosalie Morales Kearns. Keynote speakers include Mary Doria Russell, Ewa Chrusciel, Suzanne Wolfe, Justin O'Connor, and Ryan Wilson. More information can be found here.
Informal conversations about some excellent, accessible poetry by living poets, all of whom you will have the chance to meet. This four-week series leads up to “Terra Incognita,” a literary gathering at Pitt co-sponsored by Convivium, a journal of literature and the arts, and PGH CS. We will be reading poetry by featured poets Ryan Wilson, Elisabeth Kramp, and Ewa Chrusciel, as well as some others. Participants will receive free copies of relevant books. No prior experience reading poetry required! Dinner will be provided. This seminar will be led by Professor Ryan McDermott.
PGH Christian Studies will be sponsoring students to attend the Rehumanize Conference on Life Peace, & Justice, which will be hosted by CEL at Duquesne University. The three-day conference will feature presentations on some of the most pressing human rights questions of our time. Rehumanize seeks to promote a consistent life ethic and educate all people on the inherent dignity of every human person. More information can be found here.
The Festival of Friendship is a free cultural event. This year’s theme, “Only Wonder Knows,” explores the wondrousness of human beings, the beauty of knowing another person, and how wonder is an essential component of friendship. PGH Christian Studies will be reserving space for fellows at these two presentations—please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Michael and Susan Waldstein, Keynote: “Only Wonder Knows” by two eminent theology professors. Friday, September 28, 6:30 pm.
This event will be followed by Tonus Peregrinus: Classical Music Concert featuring the music of Couperin, Biber, Bach, and Brahms, curated by Lucy Tucker Yates and performed by Lucy Tucker Yates, soprano and piano, Jeffrey Girton, violin, Patricia Halverson, viola da gamba, and Justin Wallace, harpsichord.
“The Miracle of Hospitality,” Saturday, September 29, 6:30 pm, hosted by Nadia Khawaja, Journalist; Beniamino Rovagnoti and Gaia Temporiti, Adoptive Parents; Sr. Agnes Thérèse Davis, TOR, This event includes a dinner, hosted by the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.
See this link for the Festival’s full schedule: http://revolutionoftenderness.net
“Plough Quarterly is a magazine of stories, ideas, and culture to inspire faith and action. Bold, hope-filled, and down-to-earth, it features thought-provoking articles, commentary, interviews, short fiction, book reviews, poetry and art.”
PGH Christian Studies sponsors a Plough reading group that meets every other week.
All members will be given a free subscription to Plough. Members will discuss how diverse voices and opinions contribute to the conversation around the Christian intellectual tradition. Meetings will be held every other Thursday night at 6:30, beginning September 13th. Contact email@example.com with any questions. RSVP on Facebook or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come celebrate the new semester with us on Monday, September 3rd (Labor Day), at 5 pm. This is a great time to reconnect with other PGH Christian Studies fellows and faculty—and also a great time to bring a friend who might be interested.
CMU Professor John Dolan, Principal Systems Scientist at CMU’s Robotics Institute, has kindly agreed to host us again. RSVP on Facebook or by e-mailing email@example.com so we can have an accurate headcount for dinner.
PGH Christian Studies is sponsoring this panel discussion as part of Pitt’s “Year of Healthy U.” Speakers on the panel include Dr. Tamara Dubowitz (RAND Corp.), Dr. Tyler Wanderweele (Harvard), Dr. Jeffery Bishop (St. Louis University), and Dr. Grant Martsolf (University of Pittsburgh). The health policy community has recently come to realize that health is about more than just the body. Now immense resources are being directed toward research on “the culture of health.” But how well can empirical research evaluate factors such as spirituality, ethics, friendship, love, and happiness? Come hear all sides of the debate from experts at Harvard’s School of Public Health, St. Louis University’s Center for Health Care Ethics, the RAND Foundation, and Pitt’s School of Nursing.
Join us for our course preview dinner and end of year celebration. Come mingle with other students and professors as we wrap up the year and look forward to the course offerings for next year. The dinner will also feature fantastic food, advice, and class descriptions from faculty. Students from ALL universities/colleges are welcome!
Come and enjoy coffee and pastries with students, professors, and community members as we learn the traditional Easter hymns of the Bruderhof. This event will be an excellent opportunity to come and meet the students and faculty that are part of the Christian Studies program while also bringing in new friends and neighbors!
In this weekend seminar, professors of physics and philosophy will meet to present a basic overview of quantum physics for the non-expert, while addressing current debates. The relationship between quantum mechanics and Christianity will be the main topic of discussion for the event. The full event description and schedule can be found here. Registration is FREE for students, so sign up here today!
The theme of our annual student colloquium is “Gender and Human Dignity.” Students will give short presentations on topics related to this theme with time for discussion. If you are interested in giving a talk, please be on the lookout for communications from the organizers. This is one of our most valuable events of the semester because of YOU, so please consider sharing your insights and talents with the whole program.
Professor Grant Martsolf will be presenting a seminar on the "culture of health". As he writes in his seminar description, "it is important to understand that the “Culture of Health” relies on an historically unprecedented and contestable assumption that “health” is the proper goal and highest good of human culture. The Culture of Health movement reshapes the definitions of health, social science and the place of health-related goods in individuals’ lives. This shift holds both promise and peril, and so deserves debate." Register to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesdays 7:00pm - 8:30 pm Synod Hall
Feb. 13th, Feb. 20th, Feb. 27th, Mar. 13th, Mar. 20th
Guided by Dorothy Sayers’s Are Women Human?, this group will explore the intersections of Christianity with feminism and cultural conceptions of gender. The text will be discussed alongside excerpts from classic feminist works. The writings of female mystics will also be explored. Members will consider how early Christianity’s conception of gender differed radically from ideas then current in Greco-Roman culture — and introduced a revolutionary new idea of human dignity. Contact Grace Aquilina (email@example.com) if you want to be involved or just show up!
Welcome back from winter break! To "skate-off" the new semester with the PGH Christian Studies program, we will be testing momentum and gravity at the Schenley Park Ice Rink on January 19th from 7 - 9 pm! Admission and skate rental will be covered but you have to bring yourselves and the fun. Following the skating, we will walk just up the hill to Professor Kate Lynch's house for hot chocolate, fellowship, and a preview of this semester's events and seminars.
Plan to meet us on Friday at 10341 Overlook Glen Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 at 6:45 pm to get skates!
PLEASE RSVP ASAP!!!
On December 1st we will be co-hosting a screening of Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry (watch the trailer here, it looks amazing!) with a variety of other Christian groups in Pittsburgh. This event will be the culmination of Professor Grant Martsolf's October seminar, and a follow-up to the Garfield Farms Visit.
We want as many people as possible to come for this event so it will be open to anyone, even non-students. Mark your calendars, tell your friends, and spread the word in the community.
Don't know who Wendell Berry is? Below is an extremely abbreviated summary, taken from a longer article on the poetry foundation, of Wendell Berry: "Poet, novelist, and environmentalist Wendell Berry lives on a farm in Port Royal, Kentucky near his birthplace, where he has maintained a farm for over 40 years. Mistrustful of technology, he holds deep reverence for the land and is a staunch defender of agrarian values. He is the author of over 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays. His poetry celebrates the holiness of life and everyday miracles often taken for granted."
Join us for an ecumenical discussion on the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Five panelists of the Anabaptist, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic faiths will be led by an Eastern Orthodox moderator to discuss the impact and legacy of the Reformation. Students are encouraged to bring questions and empty stomachs to the Lutheran University Center on Wednesday November 1st. Dinner begins at 6:00, and the discussion will start at 7:00. Please RSVP via Facebook or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by October 28th.
Come join the PGH Christian Studies program as we travel to Garfield Farms, an urban community farm in Garfield. We'll have a tour of the farm and enjoy some pizza fresh from their pizza oven. While we eat, Professor Grant Martsolf of the University of Pittsburgh and Pastor John Creasy of Garfield Farms will lead a discussion about Christian social thought, and particularly how it applies to and enlightens farming.
This event will also serve as a kick-off to our four week seminar on Wendell Berry and the writings of both Pope Leo XIII and Abraham Kuyper. Information about Garfield Farms can be found at www.garfieldfarm.com. We encourage you to look them up and reach out to us with any questions.
Join us for a back-to-school Christian Studies dinner at the home of CMU Professor John Dolan, director of the Robotics Institute. We are excited to welcome back all students and fellows as we kick off a fantastic year. All students who are interested in the christian intellectual life are welcome to attend to learn more about the offerings of the program.
Please RSVP as "Going" on the Facebook event (https://tinyurl.com/y8wqbbup) or by emailing email@example.com so we have an accurate headcount for dinner.
PGH Christian Studies presents the annual Colloquium of the Christian Intellectual Life. This year’s theme is 21st Century Love: Does charity emerge from the human condition? It will include a series of short presentations from PGH Christian Studies students with opportunities for discussion following each one.
Breakfast of fruit, coffee, and hot cross buns will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Room 501 of the Cathedral of Learning.
Planes, Trains, and Autonomous Robots, Xavier Cook
Refugee Resettlement, Fiona Eichinger
Playback (film) by Ben Hatmaker, presented by Mark Connor
Tear Down the Walls: A Biblical Response to Xenophobia, Ethnocentrism, and Racism, Nick Bersin
Following the event, we will continue our discussion at the Porch at 1:00 p.m.
This event is free to all students, and open to all students of any faith or none.
To RSVP please reply "Going" on our Facebook event, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know Pittsburgh was an important center for early Biblical archaeology? Many important digs for the reconstruction of Old Testament history were pioneered by faculty at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. The Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archeology provides a window onto that world. We will tour the museum to learn about Old Testament history and the ways modern scholars uncover the people and events that comprise the history of salvation. You will get to handle 3000-year-old pottery and learn how to date artifacts based on ceramic evidence. This will be followed by a tasty lunch and a discussion of the theology of Biblical archaeology, led by the experienced archaeologist and Biblical scholar Dr. Jim Platt. The tour begins at 10:00 a.m.; lunch is at noon.
From Oakland, take the 71B and get off on Highland Avenue, opposite Hays Street.
Just in time for registration, join us for dinner and a sampling of spring semester Christian Studies courses at the home of Professor John Dolan. Professors teaching the courses will be there to give short "flash lessons." Past experience has proven that this is a good time even if you already know what you're taking!
Prof. and Mrs. Dolan will be hosting our event this semester. Prof. Dolan's house is 5540 Bryant St. in Highland Park. We will be organizing rides to their home.
RSVP by e-mailing email@example.com or on our Facebook event. Please note if you need a ride or if you are able to provide a ride (if so how many additional students you can take).
In 2016 there were more forcibly displaced people around the world than at any time in human history. What can Christians do to care for those who find themselves homeless from their homeland?
Focusing on Pittsburgh's African refugee communities, we will share an authentic African meal with recent refugees and learn about the ways local churches are serving their needs and their experiences through the lens of their faith.
Prof. Jean-Jacques Sène (Chatham), himself a former refugee, will lead a conversation on the recent crisis of displacement, the theology that undergirds Christian responses, and the faith that sustains refugee communities.
The event will be held on Saturday, February 25th from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Church of the Ascension.
To RSVP please reply "Going" on our Facebook event, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us for a Renaissance & Baroque (RenBar) Christmas Concert featuring Stile Antico. Stile Antico's Christmas program is a delightful mixture of the formal and the informal, of sophisticated polyphony and folk-like dances. Alongside a glorious, richly-scored Christmas mass by the Flemish composer Clemens non Papa, Stile Antico performs traditional old-German carols and motets, many of them still familiar today.
Learn about the music in advance with a faculty talk over dinner. We will meet for dinner at Repair the World (6022 Broad St.) from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. At which point we will walk over to Calvary Episcopal Church for the concert. Dinner will be provided by Patron Mexican Grill and desserts will consist of apple pie and wassail by Moore Pies Please.
We only have 20 tickets available, if you would like to attend, please RSVP to email@example.com.
Did you know that the largest collection of Christian relics in the world, outside Vatican City, resides on Troy Hill? St. Anthony Chapel opens a window onto the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, as well as a unique perspective on Pittsburgh's history of immigration. We'll learn about the history and theology of relics over dinner from Gaucho, and then explore the chapel and relics together.
We will meet at St. Anthony Chapel on November 9th at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. Our tour of the relics will be from 7:15 - 8:15 p.m. To RSVP either e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mark "going" on the Facebook event
Just in time for registration, join us for dinner and a sampling of spring semester Christian Studies courses at the home of Professor McDermott. Professors teaching the courses will be there to give short "flash lessons." For example: Prof. Sarah MacMillen of Duquesne University will preview her course "Sociology of Catholicism" (SOCI 233).
This year's lineup will include previews of upcoming CS short seminars "Whose Justice, Which Rationality?" (Prof. McDermott) and "Christian Care of the Body" with physician/researcher/theologian Rev. Dan Hall. Past experience has proven that this is a good time even if you already know what you're taking!
Dinner will be catered by Homestead's own Me Lyng Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant.
Prof. and Mrs. McDermott will be hosting our event this semester. Prof. McDermott's house is 112 E. 11th Ave. in Homestead (just up the hill from the Waterfront). Take the 61 C and get off at 8th Ave and West streets, the first stop after you cross the Homestead Grays Bridge. Walk three blocks up West St., and hang a left on E. 11th Ave. The house is on the right: large, white, with a blue awning, up a long flight of concrete stairs.
Do you ever feel that your college education is just one damn thing after another? Does the maximization of opportunity seem to diminish the overall experience? Does the ultimate purpose of your chosen discipline elude you? If you have wrestled with any of these tensions, you'll enjoy talking with Steven Justice, Chancellor's Professor of English at University of California, Berkeley, and Senior Fellow of the Berkeley Institute. Prof. Justice knows how to talk shop. What shop? This strange university shop, where we try simultaneously to get an education, be professionalized, seek wisdom, build community, and experience joy. Prof. Justice will talk briefly about a few practical tools for making a coherent experience out of college, and then open it up to conversation.