Featured Events

The Lamentations of Jeremiah: An Intergenerational Conversation on the Crises of Our Time

Hear insights from Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., an outspoken civil rights advocate, and Minister Tiauna Boyd Webb, one of the first Wright scholars to graduate from Chicago Theological Seminary, who joined the Ansari Institute in February 2021 for an intergenerational conversation on building a more just and peaceful world.

Renowned for his exuberant oratory, Rev. Wright is a master of the jeremiad, a type of sermon that speaks truth to power by invoking biblical prophecy, offering a diagnosis of our fallen condition, and issuing a call to repentance. In 2008, his sermons were caricatured by media outlets thanks to sound-bite journalism, but “Jeremiah’s jeremiads” resonate with many as prophetic.  

A former Wright Scholar, Minister Tiauna Boyd Webb is a young leader in the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, a recognized NGO of the United Nations that seeks to strengthen the individual and collective capacity of thought leaders and activists in the church, academy, and community through education, advocacy, and activism for human rights and social justice.

Today, our world faces multiple intersecting crises: racial injustice (coupled with white supremacy and violent extremism), economic inequality, climate change, and a global pandemic. Given these vast challenges, what can a prophetic faith tradition teach us about building a better world? Watch this wide-ranging conversation with Rev. Wright and Minister Webb as the struggle for peace and justice passes from one generation to another.

This conversation was co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame's African Student Association (ASA), Black Student Association, Department of American Studies, Initiative on Race and Resilience, and Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights, as well as Indiana University South Bend's Civil Rights Heritage Center and the United Religious Community of St. Joseph County. 

Peace in Absentia: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Voices on Arab-Israeli Normalization

How can peace deals between Israel and the Palestinians be negotiated without Palestinians at the table?

How might Jews who are concerned for both the prosperity of Israel and justice for Palestinians ethically position themselves between the two sides?

What role does religion play in inflaming conflict or promoting peace? 

In this December 2020 discussion, panelists explored these important questions and discussed the best path forward for sustainable peace in the region.

Panelists included: Laila El-Haddad, an author, social activist, policy analyst, and journalist; Rev. Mitri Raheb, founder and president of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture; Rabbi Brant Rosen of Tzedek Chicago, co-founder, of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council; and Hatem Bazian, co-founder and professor of Islamic law and theology at Zaytuna College and a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Charles Powell, an affiliated faculty member at the Ansari Institute and adjunct professor of Muslim-Christian dialogue at Holy Cross College, moderated the discussion.

This conversation was co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, Program in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, and Department of Classics. 

Faith and the Presidency: Perspectives from the Evangelical Christian Community

The American electorate is overwhelmingly polarized, even within members of the same faith communities. Our democracy is being tested not by our disagreements, but by how we manage them. Can we listen to each other with empathy despite our deep disagreements?

In this October 2020 panel discussion, pastors from the born-again, evangelical Christian community spoke on big issues with political and moral implications—everything from inequality and climate change to immigration, abortion, and racism.

Panelist included John Onwuchekwa, pastor of Cornerstone Church; Becky Fischer, founder and director of Kids in Ministry International; and Mike Cramer, senior pastor of New Life Church. 

This discussion, co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame's Department of American Studies and Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, explored the complexity and diversity of contemporary evangelical Christian movements in the United States in an atmosphere of civil and respectful dialogue.