The Didier Seminar


The Didier Seminar

In every age the Spirit speaks.

The Calvin W. Didier Annual Seminar on Religion and Contemporary Thought was endowed in 1993 as a retirement tribute to Reverend Didier in honor of a ministry mindful of the many voices of the spirit and the profound changes we continue to experience in contemporary thought and culture. This yearly seminar is dedicated to spiritual growth through the best comprehensive thinking in religion, the arts, letters and science. We seek to present inspiring and acknowledged leaders in their various fields.


The Didier Seminar 2023

Writer, Editor, and Religious Activist
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

Building the Multi-faith Future:  Freedom of Religion in a Democracy


President and CEO of Interfaith Alliance, Rev. Paul Raushenbush served as Senior Vice President at Auburn Seminary, Executive Editor of HuffPost Religion, Associate Dean of Religious Life and The Chapel at Princeton University, and a founding editor of Most recently, he was Senior Advisor for Public Affairs and Innovation at Interfaith America. An ordained Baptist minister, Rev. Raushenbush has been a leader in the interfaith movement to protect freedom and preserve democracy. He comes from a dual line of pioneers in the very work he has been called to do. As the great-grandson of the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and great-grandson of Baptist theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, a key figure in the Social Gospel movement, Rev. Raushenbush’s commitment to interfaith advocacy comes in part from his own interfaith background.

The Honorable Paul Anderson, Minnesota Associate Supreme Court Justice, Retired
Dr. Piercarlo Valdezsolo, Associate Professor of Psychology Science, Claremont McKenna College and Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology, Macalester College

Friday, April 21
7:30 p.m. Democracy Not Theocracy: Confronting the threat of Christian Nationalism to preserve our religiously diverse nation – Rev. Paul Raushenbush
Click here to view the session.

Saturday, April 22, Moderated by Rev. Paul Raushenbush
9:30 a.m. Christian Nationalism and the United States Supreme Court: Is the concept rooted in U.S. history? – Justice Paul Anderson
10:45 a.m. The Psychology of Meaning: How we create meaning and struggle with difference – Dr. Piercarlo Valdezsolo
Click here to watch this session.

Sunday, April 23
10 a.m. Worship | Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush Preaching: Shall Christian Nationalists win? The Critical Role of Congregations in Protecting our Diverse Democracy
Click here to view the sermon.
11:15 a.m. Adult Enrichment with Rev. Paul Raushenbush: Where Do we Go From Here? Building a Multi-faith Future.
Click here to watch Adult Enrichment.


Click here to view archived 2021 Didier Seminar lectures with Jeannine Hill Fletcher:  Christian Entanglement in Racism: Facing the Past, Transforming the Future.


Past Speakers and Topics:


2022    Jeannine Hill Fletcher:     “Christianity and Religious Diversity:  Challenges and Opportunities”

2021     Jeannine Hill Fletcher:     “Christian Entanglement in Racism: Facing the Past, Transforming the Future”

2020      Theologian John Haught:     “The New Cosmic Story: Inside our Awakening Universe”

2019      Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers:      “Progressive Christianity”

2018      Dr. J. Andrew Overman:     “When Stones Speak: Digging Deeper into Jesus Movements, Formative Judaism, and the Rise and Expansion of Islam”

2017      Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.:     “How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul”

2016      Diana Butler Bass:     “What Does It Mean To Say “I Am Spiritual But Not Religious”?

2015      Rev. Dr. Marilyn Salmon:     “Jesus Then and Now”

2014      Dr. Amy-Jill Levine:     “Jesus, Judaism and Christianity”

2013      Professor Paul Knitter:     “Must My God be Bigger Than Your God?” (Moving Beyond Competition to Cooperation)

2012      John Phillip Newell:     “A New Harmony: The Spirit, The Earth, The Earth and the Human Soul”

2011      Dr. Wilson Yates, Prof. Michael Dennis Browne, Dr. Stephen Paulus, and Rev. David Miller and Dr. Aaron David Miller:     “Theology, Spirituality and the Arts”

2010     Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault:     “Meditation and Visionary Seeing in the Christian Tradition”

2009     Dr. Imam Seyyed Hossein Nasr:     “The Heart of Islam”

2008     Dr. Philip Jenkins:     “The Next Christendom”

2007     Rev. Dr. Martin Marty:      “Must Faiths Collide?”

2006     Dr. Don Swearer:     “Buddhism”

2005     Dr. Dominic Crossan:     “The Historical Jesus and the Kingdom of God Then and Now”

2004     Rev. Dr. (Sir) John Polkinghorne:     “Belief of God in and Age of Science”

2003     Gordon Kaufman:     “Do ideas of God change?”

2002     Dr. Elaine Pagels:     “The Challenge of the Gospel of Thomas. Different Views of Jesus and His Message”

2001    Dr. Marilyn Salmon, Rev. Dr. Calvin Roetzel, Rabbi Barry Cytron:     “What Have We Learned and What Does it Matter?”

2000   Dr. Richard Horsley:     “Jesus Paul and the New World Order”

1999    Rev. Dr. Marcus Borg:     “Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship”

1998    Rev. Dr. J. Andrew Overman:     ” Jews and Christians: How Did We Start and Where Are We Headed?”