Orville Schell

A Democratic China? Will the Internet, Trade and Capitalism Transform China?

Wednesday, January 3
Underwritten by: Spectrum Health

While best known as one of the country’s most dedicated observers of China, Orville Schell has done just about everything—from war correspondent to ship hand to academic administrator. He has been a regular columnist for The Boston Globe and has a long association with The New Yorker. As a journalist, Schell follows his instincts and fully engages himself in his topic, making him a thought-provoking presenter. He is the perfect guide to present-day China, a country that regularly defies customary categories and stereotypes. What will the effect of China’s entry into the global market place, increasingly unrestricted travel, the internet and global entertainment be on China’s economy and body politic? The answers to such questions will have a profound impact on China and the world.

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Jeremy Rifkin

The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism Where All of Life Is a Paid-For-Experience

Thursday, January 4
Underwritten by: Grand Bank

“The risks attendant to the Biotech Century are at least as ominous as the rewards are seductive,” writes Jeremy Rifkin in his 1998 bestseller The Biotech Century. Rifkin has been influential in shaping public policy by addressing the social, economic and ecological impact of scientific and technological changes. In his lecture, he will question whether the artificial creation of cloned animals means the end of nature and the substitution of a “bio-industrial” world. He will consider what it will mean to live in a world where babies are genetically engineered and customized in the womb. Rifkin will force each of us to put a mirror to our most deeply held values and ponder with him the ultimate question of the purpose and meaning of existence as we become engulfed in the biotech revolution.

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Douglas Brinkley

The Majic Bus: An American Educational Odyssey

Friday, January 5
Underwritten by: Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey, P.L.C

As an innovative teacher and engaging chronicler of recent American history, Douglas Brinkley will build the same lively connections with his Calvin audience that he does with students who participate in his legendary "Majic Bus" history-on-wheels tours. These experimental traveling courses for high school and college students underscore the importance and value in learning about our nation’s past and its possibilities. He will present the history of America’s past and its history-in-the-making in an offbeat travelogue of his Majic Bus approach to understanding who we are and what has shaped us, sharing with us the importance of education and the excitement of learning. Brinkley makes American history come alive, making the past present and real for us.

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Frank Deford

The American Athlete as American Hero

Monday, January 8
Underwritten by: Huntington National Bank

Frank Deford was a sportswriter, broadcaster and author and the former senior writer for Sports Illustrated.  He is the author of fourteen books including, "An American Summer," "Everybody's All-American," and "Alex: The Life of a Child." He has been a commentator on ESPN, NPR's Morning Edition, & HBO's RealSports with Bryant Gumbel and was elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. 

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Ira Byock

Dying Well: Reclaiming the End of Life

Tuesday, January 9
Underwritten by: Hospice of Michigan

For more than 20 years Ira Byock has been involved in hospice and palliative care. He has authored numerous articles on the ethics and practice of end-of-life care and in 1995 was the recipient of the National Hospice Organization’s prestigious Person of the Year Award. He is author of the book Dying Well: The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life. As founder and principal investigator of the Missoula Demonstration Project, he researches the experience of dying and the determinants of quality at life’s end. Byock will examine the public health crisis that surrounds end-of-life care and the unprecedented challenge of care giving brought about by the graying of America. Stories of people who have died well will reveal what is possible in personal and family growth through this inherently difficult time in life.

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David Broder

Democracy Derailed: Initiative Campaigns and the Power of Money

Wednesday, January 10
Underwritten by: Blue Cross Blue Shield of West Michigan

David Broder is a national political correspondent reporting the political scene for The Washington Post. Editorial-page editors and members of Congress have rated him Washington’s most highly regarded columnist, leading 16 others in ratings for overall integrity, factual accuracy and insight. He is the author or co-author of seven books, the most recent being Democracy Derailed: Initiative Campaigns and the Power of Money. It is a wake-up call to an electorate that has been duped into believing that ballot measures represent the purest form of direct democracy.

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William R. Stevenson

Disciplined Zeal: Being a Christian Student at Calvin College

Thursday, January 11
Underwritten by: Peter and Pat Cook

William Stevenson, Jr. is author of the books Christian Love and Just War and Sovereign Grace: The Place and Significance of Christian Freedom in John Calvin’s Political Thought. His fields of interest include the history of political thought, Christian political thought, politics and ethics, and constitutional law, theory and development. His approach to politics is a refreshing antidote to our current fascination with focus groups, spin doctors and seemingly endless polls. Politics for Stevenson is a vital discussion about the right ordering of individuals, communities and nation with one another and with their God. His lecture will address the question of what it means to be free in Christ. What implications does such freedom have for living in a world obsessed with the liberty of the individual? What do Christian freedom and the political assumptions about freedom imply for a Christian college such as Calvin?

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Cantus - Vocal Ensemble

One Thousand Years of Church Music In an Hour

Friday, January 12
Underwritten by: Carroll Bos

Cantus, a choir of 12 male vocalists, was born in the fall of 1995 when a few college friends with a love of and passion for music decided to keep singing together after their days in their college male chorus ended. Now Cantus is a full-time, non-profit performing organization, Cantus’ repertory ranges from early music to folk songs and spirituals. They have been received enthusiastically at arts festivals, including the Newport Music Festival, and at the American Choral Directors Association conventions.

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Patricia Raybon

My First White Friend: Confessions on Race, Love and Forgiveness

Monday, January 15
Underwritten by: The Woodrick Institute of Aquinas

In her award-winning book, My First White Friend, Patricia Raybon writes of the power of forgiveness as a force that can transform hate to love. Raybon understands forgiveness as a redemptive process for the person who forgives even when the injury to be forgiven is racial. She has written essays for The New York Times, Magazine, Guideposts, USA Today, and USA Weekend. She also contributes to National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. She is Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She will take the hard topic of race relations and apply the New Testament principle of forgiveness to move the race debate from one about blame to a conversation about building the road to reconciliation. This lecture is presented in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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Diane Ravitch

Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reform

Tuesday, January 16
Underwritten by: J.C. Huizenga

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her presentation will demonstrate that America’s current debate about standards, curriculum and methods in the schools is not new. Similar debates had shaken up education for decades with reform after reform based on unproven and unworkable theories diverting attention from the schools’ essential purpose, the intellectual development of every child. Dr. Ravitch examines such issues as low graduation standards, too much remediation and the attempt for education to be all things to all people.

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Brian Greene

The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

Wednesday, January 17
Underwritten by: Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett, LLP

Brian Greene is a physicist, string theorist and author. He has a Ph.D. and is a professor of Math & Physics at Columbia University. He is the best-selling author of two books, "The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time & the Texture of Reality," and "The Elegant Universe". He is also the host of the NOVA / PBS mini-series, "The Elegant Universe" and has appeared extensively on television and radio. 

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Stephen L. Carter

God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics

Thursday, January 18
Underwritten by: John and Mary Loeks & Mark and Carol Muller

Recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 50 leaders of the next century, Stephen Carter has become one of America's leading contemporary intellectuals. As William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale Law School, Carter grapples with the nation's thorniest political, social and business challenges in a manner that speaks to Americans of every race, class and ideology. His lecture will include illustrations of ways in which spiritual perspectives make vital contributions to our national debates.

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Mark Hughes

The Human Embryo: Diagnosing Disease, Cloning, Stem Cell Research: We can, but Should we?

Friday, January 19
Underwritten by: Lawrence D. Sr.and Dolores Bos

A worldwide argument is brewing that pits the benefits of genetics research against its potential misuse. For Dr. Mark Hughes, the benefits clearly come out on top. Known for his pioneering work in embryo diagnosis, Hughes has found himself in the middle of a heated battle between science and ethics. “Technology often drives science, science drives medicine, and medicine is always pushing society into ethical corners,” says Hughes. Stem cell research is another aspect of science that is at the center of the debate. Diseases that might be treated by transplanting cells generated from human embryonic stem cells include Parkinson's disease, diabetes, traumatic spinal cord injury and heart disease. Hughes will discuss the promising yet troubling technology and where it might lead in the future

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Tomáš Halik

The Shadow of a Dead God?

Monday, January 22
Underwritten by: Spectrum Health

Tomás Halík is head of the Department of the Philosophy of Religion at Charles University, Prague. He is the author of more than 200 publications in German, Polish, Italian and Spanish as well as Czech and has lectured in Europe, USA, India, Latin America and Japan. Dr. Halík, a convert secretly ordained to the priesthood during the Communist period, reflects on the historical and spiritual experiences of Christians at the time of Communist persecution and during the years of rebuilding democracy since 1989. As in Buddhist legend, Buddha’s shadow remained in the cave long after his death, so even after the fall of the god Communism, its shadow remains in people’s souls. Likewise, the shadow of God can be detected in the minds of the people.

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Valentina Lisitsa & Alexei Kuznetsoff

Valentina Lisitsa & Alexei Kuznetsoff in concert

Tuesday, January 23
Underwritten by: Sand Ridge Bank, Schererville, IN

Val and Al, as they have come to be affectionately known in their previous visits to Calvin College, demonstrate a bewitching unanimity of musical goal in their duo-piano performances. From tender quiet passages to raging virtuosic display they touch the emotions of their audiences, communicating the meaning of the music through their passion for music making. "Val and Al" received their training in the Ukraine and this year became citizens of the United States. For The January Series they will play Rachmaninoff's fetching Symphonic Dances and Schubert's hauntingly beautiful and sad Hungarian Divertimento. Plan on pleasing encores as well.

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