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 Beliefnet.com. 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
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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.
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?”