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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Breaking news: Minns Lectures start tomorrow!

Here's something I'm frankly shocked not to have heard about before this evening: My doppelganger, Branden Thornhill-Miller, a Unitarian Universalist who is currently a lecturer in the psychology of religion at Oxford, is delivering the 2007 Minns Lectures starting tomorrow. (About the doppelganger part: When we were both students at Harvard Divinity School, Branden and I could sometimes be mistaken for each other with our skinny selves and red hair. When I showed up for community tea one Tuesday during my first year, feeling unjustifiably snazzy in my blue turtleneck, sports coat, and chalice pendant, there was Branden wearing a blue turtleneck, sports coat, and chalice pendant. Curses!)

Branden's a smart guy who has been studying the religious experiences of Unitarian Universalists for a bunch of years now. And he's come back across the pond from Hogwarts Oxford to tell us what he's learned. Here's the schedule for his Minns Lectures, "The Experience of Religious Varieties: Psychology of Religion for the 21st Century" [pdf]. The first four lectures are this week and next week in Boston and Cambridge. The fifth lecture is in Chicago, and the series concludes in Berkeley.

  • Wednesday, March 14, 7:30 p.m. "Psychology of Religion for the 21st Century." First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street.

  • Thursday, March 15, 7:00 p.m. "Religious Refugees and Spiritual Immigrants: The Psychology of Unitarian Universalism." King's Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon Street, Boston.

  • Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 p.m. "The Modern Missionary Position: The Psychology of Fundamentalist Sects in Global Context." First Parish in Cambridge, 3 Church Street.

  • Thursday, March 22, 5:30 p.m. "What It Means To Be Human: Creativity, Mental Illness, and Religious Experience." Sperry Room, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge.

  • Tuesday, March 27, 5:30 p.m. "Challenges for the Psychology of Religion: Fundamentalism, Meaning-Making, and the Future of Religion." Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago.

  • Thursday, April 5. "Homo Syntheticus: Art, Religion, and the Future Human." Starr King School for the Ministry, Berkeley.

Modified 4.24.07

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 13 March 2007 at 8:52 PM

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10 comments:

Gideon:

March 13, 2007 10:39 PM | Permalink for this comment

A subject close to my heart! Any way these will end up as podcasts or anything along those lines?

Kenneth:

March 13, 2007 11:49 PM | Permalink for this comment

Oh Chris, you wore a chalice pendant? Oh, I'll have nightmares tonight!

Philocrites:

March 14, 2007 08:28 AM | Permalink for this comment

Gideon, I doubt there will be podcasts, but I know Branden has been developing these ideas for publication for several years and suspect that they'll appear in print eventually.

Kenneth, um, yes, there was a time... But I abandoned the pendant (and my Jesus hair) after only a few months. Ah, youth!

PeaceBang:

March 15, 2007 10:20 PM | Permalink for this comment

How good of you to promote this.

I used to totally think you two were the same person.

Hank Peirce:

March 16, 2007 10:07 AM | Permalink for this comment

I'm shocked that this info didn't get out earlier as well. But my question is this...will Brandon take his shirt off and dance on the table like he so often did back in the day?

jinnis:

March 18, 2007 04:46 PM | Permalink for this comment

"Branden's a smart guy." That's an understatement. . .

Thank you for posting this. I wish I was going to be anywhere near his appearances. I remember helping him pass out surveys to those entering the GA plenary some years ago.

And Chris - I thought your long hair was OK, though its mullet-nature was not so good. :)

Philocrites:

March 18, 2007 04:58 PM | Permalink for this comment

"Mullet-nature"! (Sigh.) The last time I had a mullet was c.1991. In div school, that was 100% long-hair long hair. I also have to amend something I said earlier in this comments thread: I misremembered how long I had that hairdo. I didn't cut it until December of my second year. That's right: a year and a half went by before it finally occurred to me that I never wanted to be a Cambridge ponytail guy. I am so ashamed.

jinnis:

March 19, 2007 05:27 PM | Permalink for this comment

I thought you had the long hair for a while into div school. And I can admit my own error and take back the comment about what I misremembered. Swept back, not mullet. I still say you had nice hair.

Scott Prinster:

March 21, 2007 06:17 AM | Permalink for this comment

LOL @ Hogwarts!

Jake:

March 25, 2007 07:29 AM | Permalink for this comment

The Minns mavens weren't able to include the lectures' full titles, all of which situate the topic within the context of Chris Walton's hair.

For instance:
"Religious Refugees and Spiritual Immigrants: The Psychology of Unitarian Universalism, in Light of Chris Walton's Past Haircuts."

"What It Means To Be Human: Creativity, Mental Illness, and Religious Experience, Given Chris Walton's Hair Choices."

And,
"Challenges for the Psychology of Religion: Fundamentalism, Meaning-Making, the Future of Religion, and What Chris Walton Has Done (and Not Done) with the Hair that God Gave Him."



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