The Didier Seminar: 2021 and 2022


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.

2022 Didier Seminar with Jeannine Hill Fletcher
Christianity and Religious Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities

Jeannine Hill Fletcher is a professor at Fordham University whose research focuses on gender, race, and religious diversity. Her book The Sin of White Supremacy—Christianity, Racism and Religious Diversity in America has been described as “a heartfelt lament and passionate advocacy for racial justice—both sobering and liberating.”

Embracing Religious Diversity
How do we maintain our deep roots in the Christian faith while being positively open to the many religious traditions of our world? What elements of our tradition will be challenging in the task of appreciating religious diversity? What elements of our tradition can be mobilized to embrace religious diversity as a gift?


Friday, April 29:
Lecture: Religious Diversity in America: Christian Nationalism as a Threat to our Multi-Religious Reality

How can Christian theology meet the challenge and embrace the gift of difference?


Saturday April 30:
Lecture:  Roadblocks and Resources: Faithfully Working Towards a Non-Supremacist Theology and Interpretation: Scripture, Liturgy, Education, and Practice


Sunday, May 1:
Sermon: The Gift of Difference: Jesus Followers in a Multi-Religious World

Lecture and Q&A:  Living Religious Pluralism
What can we learn from interreligious relationships? How can we maintain deep roots in Christianity while opening up to a world rich with other traditions?


Books on theology and diversity by Jeannine Hill Fletcher:

The Sin of White Supremacy – Christianity, Racism and Religious Diversity in America

Monopoly on Salvation


2021 Didier Seminar with Jeannine Hill Fletcher
Christian Entanglement in Racism: Facing the Past, Transforming the Future

Lecture | Wednesday, April 21 | 7 p.m.
Facing Racism: An Historical, Structural and Theological View
Watch lecture here:

Lectures and Discussion | Saturday, April 24
9:30-10:45 a.m.: How the Past Touches Down in Our Present
11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Embracing our Story to Shape our Future: Christian Tradition and Transformation

Watch lecture and discussion here:


Sermon and Adult Enrichment | Sunday, April 25 | 10 a.m. worship and 11:15 a.m. Adult Enrichment
Sunday Worship | 10 a.m. | Guest Preacher Jeannine Hill Fletcher
Watch Worship service here.

Adult Enrichment | 11:15 a.m. | Partners in Transformation: Shaping the Future
Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Rev. Dr. Mark Barger Elliott, Rev. Lynn Barger Elliott

Watch lecture here:


200 Years of Immigration to the United States

Land Acknowledgement Self-Assessment

National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition

Virginia Theological Seminary, Reparations

Redlining:  Mapping Inequality

HR40: A Bill to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act


Camara Phyllis Jones, “Levels of Racism:  A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener’s Tale”, American Journal of Public Health (2000) 1212-1215 at 1212.
Short article on institutionalized racism found online:

Stephen Patterson, The Forgotten Creed:  Christianity’s Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery & Sexism (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Joseph Barndt, Becoming an Anti-Racist Church:  Journeying Toward Wholeness (Fortress Press, 2011)



Past Speakers and Topics:


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?”