Quentin Schultze

Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age

Wednesday, January 8
Underwritten by: Peter & Pat Cook

“Technological progress invariably produces moral quandaries,” says Dr. Quentin Schultze in his highly acclaimed new book, Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age.” Hardly a Luddite, the Calvin College professor of communication entered cyberspace nearly 20 years ago, and helped launch in 1995 the most popular religious web site in the world—www.gospelcom.net. He now fears that the unmitigated explosion in “instant communication” is unraveling the moral fabric of society. People are losing their capacity to listen respectfully and to speak clearly and honestly. He argues that we don’t need more streaming text on TV talk shows and news broadcasts, more blaring television monitors in airports or more unsolicited emails. Instead we should seek virtues, such as wisdom, moderation, authenticity and discernment. Otherwise we will become a nation of high-tech fools.

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James VanderKam

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible

Thursday, January 9
Underwritten by: A Friend of The January Series

Referred to as “the greatest manuscript discovery in modern times,” the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their subsequent translation has had a significant impact on the study of the Bible. James VanderKam, professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the international team charged with editing and publishing the ancient manuscripts, will describe the discoveries, the site of Khirbet Qumran, where the scrolls were found, and the Essene group that was responsible for them through a sight-sound presentation. VanderKam will further delve into the implications that the scrolls have had on biblical interpretation. His analysis is a timely one as the only U.S. exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls opens in Grand Rapids in mid-February.

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Barbara Brown Taylor

The Preaching Life

Friday, January 10
Underwritten by: Varnum Law

People expect preachers to proclaim the gospel not only through their words, but also through their lives. So preachers get busy with good works as well as good words. But what strengths of character do preachers need in order to let their light shine without burning out? Barbara Brown Taylor, holder of the Harry R. Butman Chair in Religion and Philosophy at Piedmont College and an Episcopal priest whose noble simplicity has made her (according to Newsweek,) one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English language, will describe three prime virtues needed by every faithful preacher.

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Mark Hughes

Stem-Cell Research: Where Do We Go From Here?

Monday, January 13
Underwritten by: Spectrum Health

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

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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Michelle DeYoung

Mezzo-soprano, 2002 Grammy Award Winner

Tuesday, January 14
Underwritten by: Sandridge Bank in Schererville, IN

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

Internationally acclaimed mezzo soprano Michelle DeYoung returns to her alma mater to perform selections that highlight her lustrous voice. Since attending Calvin in the late 1980s, she has established herself as one of the most exciting artists of her generation. This season DeYoung returns to the Chicago and London Symphony Orchestras and the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Orchestras. She also makes her debuts with the Orchestra de Paris, the Betroth Festival, and the Milwaukee, Puerto Rico and New Mexico Symphonies. DeYoung’s most recent recording, Les Troynes, with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra, won the 2001 Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording. Her program will feature Rossini’s Le Regata Veneziana, Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder and various selections by Strauss.

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Stanley Hauerwas

Dietrich Bonhoeffer On Lying - Reflections on America

Wednesday, January 15
Underwritten by: Miller Johnson

Described as “contemporary theology’s foremost intellectual provocateur,” Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at the Divinity School of Duke University, has been named America’s Best Theologian by Time Magazine. The intent of his work is to show in what way theological convictions make no sense unless they are actually embodied in our lives. Referring to the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who wrote that “it is worse for a liar to tell the truth than for a lover of truth to lie,” Hauerwas will reflect on Bonhoeffer’s view of America and truth. This presentation is an attempt to prove that what Christians owe any politics in which they find themselves is first and foremost to be a people who want not only to hear the truth but to speak it.

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Harm de Blij

Whatever Happened to Geographic Literacy?

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

Among the great events that will mark the 21st century - climate change, civilization conflict, medical miracles, technological triumphs - the rise of China as a global force is likely to figure prominently. This will happen at a time when the United States is the world’s sole superpower; conflicts of interest will be inevitable. In fact, they already exist. Harm de Blij, a world-renowned geography scholar, television personality and Distinguished Professor of Geography at Michigan State University, returns to the January Series to discuss the possibility of a Second Cold War, which may vex this new century as the First Cold War bedeviled the last, and what can be done to avert this threat.

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Rod Englert

Crime Scenes: How We Can Tell What Isn't So

Friday, January 17
Underwritten by: Daniel & Gertrude Vos

Recent technological advances have made crime scene investigation an area of extreme delicacy and complicated interpretation. A 38-year veteran of law enforcement, Rod Englert has consulted in more than 275 homicides in the U.S. and is a qualified court expert in homicide in 20 states. During this lecture, Englert, whose expertise is in crime scene reconstruction and blood spatter interpretation, will demonstrate a comprehensive compilation of skills, techniques and technology which have been applied in actual cases he has been involved with. Examples of staged and manipulated murder scenes will be discussed. As these cases are considered, the audience will participate in the crime solving by using their own deductive reasoning and observation skills.

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James Skillen

Creative Justice In Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, January 20
Underwritten by: John & Mary Loeks

Where is justice to be found? Must we resign ourselves to the all-too-human patterns of oppression and murderous destruction? James Skillen, president of the Center for Public Justice in Washington D.C., answers that with a resounding, “No.” Skillen will emphasize that we have all been created in the image of God. The deepest import of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s movement extends beyond opposition to racism to the achievement of human dignity for every person. Likewise, Skillen contends, it is only in the Creator and Redeemer of humanity that we can find the hope that dissolves despair, the power to overcome hatred, the love to bind ourselves to one another and the confidence that justice will be established. This will be a true celebration of the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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S. Frederick Starr

What's Really Going On in Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan, etc.?

Tuesday, January 21
Underwritten by: Howard & Marilyn Schuitema

S. Frederick Starr is Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and Rector of the University of Central Asia, an international initiative for education and development in Central Asia. Starr is also the founder and director of the Louisianna Repertory Jazz Ensemble.

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Jean Kilbourne

Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Corrupts Relationships

Wednesday, January 22
Underwritten by: Grand Rapids Medical Education & Research Center for Health Professions

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. She is the author of Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel, paints a gripping portrait of how this barrage of advertising corrupts relationships and feeds an addictive mentality.

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N.T. (Tom) Wright

St. Paul in the Big Picture: The Apostle and the Gospel in the 1st and 21st Century

Thursday, January 23
Underwritten by: Lawrence D. Sr. and Dolores Bos

Nicholas Thomas Wright taught New Testament studies for 20 years at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford Universities and served as the Bishop of Durham from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. He now serves as chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. Considered one of the world's leading Bible scholars, he has been featured on ABC News, The Colbert Report, Dateline, and Fresh Air.  Wright is the award-winning author of Simply Good News, Simply Jesus, Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope, How God Became King, Scripture and the Authority of God, Surprised by Scripture, and The Case for the Psalms, as well as the recent translation of the New Testament The Kingdom New Testament and the much heralded series Christian Origins and the Question of God. He has authored nearly 50 books including his most recent The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion.

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Richard Norton Smith

The Biographer on His Desert Island

Friday, January 24
Underwritten by: Charles W. Loosemore Foundation

Awarding-winning presidential historian and biographer, he is the former director of five presidential libraries, including the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and the author of many books. He is a regular face to viewers of C-SPAN , as well as The News Hour with Jim Lehrer , where he appears regularly as part of the show's round table of historians. In 2007 the ABC television network named him their presidential historian. He is currently a scholar in residence at George Mason University while he works on a biography of former New York Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller. Taking into account the start of a new presidency, Smith will meld Lincoln themes with what it takes to be a successful president.

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Charles Krauthammer

The Axis of History: The Middle East after September 11

Monday, January 27

For the last 500 years the cockpit of world history has been Europe. Not anymore; today it is the Near East. War in Afghanistan, rumors of war in Iraq, conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will determine the course of the great issues of our time: terrorism, energy supplies, the spread of democracy, prospects for peace. Charles Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist and a regular weekly panelist on Inside Washington, contends that September 11 woke us from a decade-long holiday from history, during which time we conducted a bubble diplomacy to parallel our bubble economy. The bubble burst on September 11, 2001. There is now a new world to build.

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The King's Noyse

Renaissance Violin Band with Paul O'Dette, Lutenist and Ellen Hargis, Soprano

Tuesday, January 28
Underwritten by: Macatawa Bank

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

The King’s Noyse recreates the popular Renaissance violin band, fabulous entertainer of the rich and poor alike in 16th- and 17th-century Europe. The innovative fiddlers play on a set, or noyse, of Renassaince-style violins of all sizes, the only set of its kind in North America and crafted especially for this ensemble. Called a “first-rate period instrument group” by The New York Times, the core ensemble of five string players and soprano soloist Ellen Hargis is joined by Paul O’Dette, the most famous contemporary lutenist. The ensemble will perform the music of John Dowland. Renowned for its sad charms, Dowland’s music was popular during the Renaissance. His work reaches across the divide of the centuries to our deepest emotions.

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