Distinguished Lecture

The Macmillan Lectures on Religion, Politics, and Society
Distinguished Lecture, 2009

Mark Lilla

Professor of Humanities, Columbia University

Topic: “Conversion: The Power of a Metaphor”

The ideal of self-transformation, central to many religious traditions, was radicalized in the Christian conception of conversion.  These lectures explore how the metaphor of conversion has shaped — and distorted — our secular assumptions about the inner life, politics, and history.

Lecture 1: “The Conversion Ideal”
Wednesday, April 22 • 4:30pm • Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

Lecture 2: “The Conversion Society”:
Thursday, April 23 • 4:30pm • Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

Seminar Discussion
Friday, April 24 • 10:00am - 12:00pm • Room 101, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street

Carlos Eire, Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies, Yale University; author of Jews, Christians, Muslims (1997); and winner of the 2003 National Book Award in Nonfiction

Wayne Meeks, Woolsey Professor of Biblical Studies Emeritus, Yale University; author of The Origins of Christian Morality (1993)

Lamin Sanneh, James Professor of Missions & World Christianity and Professor of History, Yale University; author of Whose Religion is Christianity? (2003)


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