76 episodes

Listen to audio version of study center essays as well as lectures and talks.

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For Your Consideration Christian Study Center

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Listen to audio version of study center essays as well as lectures and talks.

christianstudycenter.substack.com

    To See the World Whole

    To See the World Whole

    In this episode of For Your Consideration, we are sharing a talk delivered by our director, Mike Sacasas, during our spring semester open house on January 23rd.
    The talk was titled “To See the World Whole.”
    We live in what the poet Richard Wilbur called a "scattering time." The most powerful forces at work within us and without appear to be disintegrating forces. These trends are long-standing even if their unfortunate consequences are only now becoming apparent in an increasingly polarized society and a worsening mental health crisis. How might we learn to see the world whole again? How might we overcome the various forms of alienation that characterize our experience? And is there anything education can do to help us overcome this fragmentation? These are the question we will take up in this talk. 
    The talk concludes on practical note with a principle, a stance, a practice, and a truth that might help us see the world whole again.
    Below is an excerpt from Mike’s opening comments. We hope you listen to the whole thing and share it with others.
    To See the World Whole
    My text for this evening is a passage from the gospel according to Tolkien. The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter 2. These are the words spoken by the wizard, Gandalf the Grey in his confrontation with another wizard, Saruman, who is described elsewhere as having a “mind of metal and wheels.” To Saruman, Gandalf says: 
    “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”
    So let me start with my title—“To See the World Whole.”
    When I first started thinking about this talk and what topic I might try to address, my mind turned to debates currently raging about the purpose and function of higher education, debates that have become not only politicized—because, of course, how a people is educated has always been, at least in part, a political matter—but which have become active fronts in the digitized culture wars. 
    What follows will not be anything like a thorough or substantive engagement with those debates, but my thinking did bring me back to a theme that I have thought about on and off for a long time:  how do we learn to see, actually see, the world? We are always looking but rarely seeing, and much less are we seeing the world whole. And by “seeing the world whole” I mean something like experiencing a vision of reality, a vision that, of course, includes sight but also involves the mind, the imagination, the heart. How do we achieve such a vision that encompasses the fullness of reality in its depth and in its multiple dimensions: intellectual, sensual, moral, spiritual, etc.?
    But the word whole also suggests something more than completeness or totality. It also suggest health and all of what the Hebrew word shalom encompasses: peace, well-being, even blessedness. 
    So asking how we might see the world whole can lead us to consider not only matters of knowledge and perception, but also how we might achieve wholeness of being for ourselves and also for our communities. How can we see the world whole? How can we see to it that the world finds wholeness, peace, shalom? 
    And, more to the point of what I would like to explore tonight: is there a relationship between the two? Might it be that learning to see the world whole might also help us find and promote wholeness? 
    If you enjoy the talk, we encourage you to share it with others.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit christianstudycenter.substack.com

    • 27 min
    Faith, Reason, and the Good Life

    Faith, Reason, and the Good Life

    In this episode of For Your Consideration, we are delighted to bring you a lecture on the role of faith in our reasoning about the good life, which was delivered at the Center by Dr. Meghan Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame on October 5th.
    Dr. Sullivan is the Wilsey Family Collegiate Professor of Philosophy. She serves as Director of the NDIAS, a university-wide research institute that supports faculty, doctoral students, undergraduates and visiting fellows pursuing cross-disciplinary research on major ethical themes. Sullivan has published two books: Time Biases (OUP 2018) and The Good Life Method (Penguin 2021, with Paul Blaschko). She is currently working on her third, which considers the moral and political significance of love of strangers.
    Near the end of the talk, Dr. Sullivan played a video clip featuring an exchange that occurred on Stephen Colbert’s late night talk show. The audio of the clip did not come through in our recording, but you can watch the clip here.
    If you enjoy the lecture, we encourage you to share it with others.
    The Christian Study Center is donor supported. Learn more about how you can help sustain our work.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit christianstudycenter.substack.com

    • 58 min
    Beyond Boring Robots: Finding the Path to Flourishing in a Technological World

    Beyond Boring Robots: Finding the Path to Flourishing in a Technological World

    On April 13th, the Christian Study Center was pleased to host a public lecture by Andy Crouch titled “Beyond Boring Robots: Find the Path to Flourishing in a Technological World.” The talk drew on and developed themes from Crouch’s most recent book, The Life We’re Looking For: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World.
    Every new advance in technology — this spring the headlines are about ChatGPT — is heralded as a magical new dawn in the human story. Yet more than one hundred years into the modern technological era, in spite of our unprecedented affluence and control over the natural world, we find a surprising amount of distress and dis-ease. As currently designed, technology will continue to both initially amaze us and ultimately disappoint us — delivering, at best, a world of more and more “boring robots.” But a different design is possible. This talk will explore how individuals, families, and communities — as well as professions, corporations, and nations — can pursue a better path.
    Andy Crouch is partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship. His writing explores faith, culture, and the image of God in the domains of technology, power, leadership, and the arts. He is the author of five books (plus another with his daughter, Amy Crouch), most recently The Life We're Looking For. His work and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time.
    The Christian Study Center is donor supported. Learn more about how you can help sustain our work.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit christianstudycenter.substack.com

    • 57 min
    The Promise and Peril of Generative A.I.

    The Promise and Peril of Generative A.I.

    With ChatGPT, and AI more generally, very much in the news, our director Michael Sacasas talked with Dr. Scott Hawley about recent trends in generative AI and its possible consequences across a variety of domains.
    Dr. Scott Hawley is Professor of Physics at Belmont University and Technical Fellow at Harmonai. He has worked extensively on machine learning in the field of audio engineering, and also writes on the intersection of ethics, faith, and AI.
    You can also listen to Dr. Hawley’s March 2022 lecture at the Study Center here: “Curves and Categories: Machine Learning, AI, and the Nature of Classification.”
    The Christian Study Center is donor supported. Learn more about how you can help sustain our work.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit christianstudycenter.substack.com

    • 45 min
    Attention, Love, and Freedom In the Work of Iris Murdoch

    Attention, Love, and Freedom In the Work of Iris Murdoch

    In this episode, our director, Michael Sacasas, talks with Dr. Benjamin Lipscomb about the work of the 20th-century philosopher and novelist, Iris Murdoch.
    During the Fall 2022 semester, the Study Center hosted a reading group on The Sovereignty of Good, a collection of three lectures by Murdoch. In this conversation, Sacasas and Lipscomb walk through the major themes of that work with a focus on what we can learn from Murdoch about moral formation.
    Dr. Lipscomb is Professor of Philosophy at Houghton University and the author of The Women Are Up to Something: How Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch Revolutionized Ethics. That book was the subject of Dr. Lipscomb’s previous conversation on the podcast, which you can listen to by clicking the link below.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit christianstudycenter.substack.com

    • 53 min
    Rethinking Sex: A provocation

    Rethinking Sex: A provocation

    Welcome to “For Your Consideration,” a podcast of the Christian Study Center. The podcast features audio from our events as well as occasional interviews with scholars and writers.
    This episode features a lecture delivered by Christine Emba at the Study Center on October 13th. Ms. Emba is a columnist for The Washington Post writing about ideas and society. Prior, she was the Hilton Kramer Fellow in Criticism at the New Criterion and a deputy editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, focusing on technology and innovation.
    Emba is also the author of Rethinking Sex: A Provocation, which was the subject of her talk at the Center. Reaching back to the wisdom of thinkers like Thomas Aquinas and Andrea Dworkin, and drawing from sociological studies, interviews with college students, and poignant examples from her own life, Emba calls for a more humane philosophy, one that starts with consent but accounts for the very real emotional, mental, social, and political implications of sex—even, she argues, if it means saying no to certain sexual practices or challenging societal expectations altogether.
    We trust you’ll enjoy the talk and hope you will share it with others.
    The Christian Study Center is donor supported. Learn more about how you can help sustain our work.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit christianstudycenter.substack.com

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

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This podcast is a breath of fresh air, they are addressing vital issues that others ignore.

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thoughtful christian commentary on culture

The commitment to scholarship at the highest level mixed with a Christian framework for thinking about culture/life makes this podcast essential for anyone who’s seeking to have the mind of Christ. Such helpful and timely commentaries on the most enduring human questions we all have.

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Excited to see this in the Apple podcast library!

The lectures, talks, and conversations of The Christian Study Center of Gainesville will change your life in the best possible way! I’ve been part of the listening community (in Gainesville) since 2002, learning from the Director and visiting professors and speakers. The topics are always relevant and challenging, while providing knowledge and wisdom for thoughtful consideration of life from a Christian perspective. I highly recommend this podcast and anything The Christian Study Center of Gainesville publishes!

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