Roger W. Heyns Lecture

Roger W. Heyns Lecture

Roger W. Heyns

Roger W. Heyns

Established at Memorial Church in 1994, the Roger W. Heyns Lecture in Religion and Society, is an annual event that features a major speaker focusing on problems and challenges of religion and community. Heyns, who was a resident of Atherton, was a member of the Memorial Church congregation from 1977 until his death in 1995.

Heyns served as chancellor at the University of California at Berkeley from 1965 to 1971. The lectureship honors Heyns on his retirement after 16 years as a board member of the James Irvine Foundation.



2016-2017 Heyns Lecture

“Toleration, Pluralism and Coexistence: The Ambivalent Legacies of the Reformation”

April 20, 2017, Time and Location TBA

Professor Alexandra WalshamAlexandra Walsham has been Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College since 2010. She has published widely on the religious and cultural history of early modern Britain. Her publications include Providence in Early Modern England (Oxford University Press, 1999); Charitable Hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England 1500-1700 (Manchester University Press, 2006); The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2011; joint winner of the Wolfson History Prize); and Catholic Reformation in Protestant Britain (Ashgate, 2014). Alexandra Walsham is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. She currently holds a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship for 2015-18 and is the Principal Investigator of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council project ’Remembering the Reformation’ (2016-19).


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2015-2016 Heyns Forum

“Spirituality and the Nones”

April 18, 2016, 4:00 pm
CIRCLE Common Room (Old Union, 3rd floor)

Linda Woodhead and Casper ter Kuile discussed the rise of “Nones” in today’s society – those who are unaffiliated with any organized religion. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A, moderated by The Rev. Professor Jane Shaw, Dean for Religious Life. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

Linda WoodheadLinda Woodhead’s books include That Was the Church, That Was (2016) and A Sociology of Prayer (2015). She is the co-founder and organizer of the Westminster Faith Debates and a regular commentator on religion on radio and television. She is currently studying the rise of “no religion” and the beliefs and practices of the “nones”.


Casper ter KuileCasper ter Kuile is training to become a minister for non-religious people with a focus on engaging millennials. He’s the co-author of How We Gather – a cultural map of secular organizations fulfilling religious functions for non-religious Americans. He hosts the Living The Questions podcast and co-leads a reading community, Harry Potter as a Sacred Text.

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2014-2015 Heyns Lecture

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising

January 15, 2015, 6:00 pm
Cemex Auditorium, Knight Management Center

The lecture featured Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising who emerged as one of the Roman Catholic Church’s most influential figures. He currently serves as the head of the German Bishops’ Conference and as President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences in the European Union. He is a member of the Council of Cardinals, which advises Pope Francis on church governance, and was appointed head of the new Council for the Economy, designed to oversee the Vatican’s economic management. Cardinal Marx has written and spoken widely on economic questions and the contemporary relevance of Catholic Social Teaching; he is the author of Das Kapital: A Plea for Man (2008).

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Heyns Lectures

May 23, 1996
Satan and All His Angels (How Early Christians Came to Demonize Jews, ‘Pagans’ and Heretics)
Prof. Elaine Pagels
Princeton University

October 15, 1997
Christian Conviction in a Pluralist Society
Prof. Maurice Wiles
Christ Church, Oxford

May 13, 1998
America’s New Religious Landscape: Negotiating Identities, Negotiating
Prof. Diana Eck
Harvard University

April 22, 1999
Revisiting Religious Pluralism
Prof. Bruce Lawrence
Duke University

October 13, 2004
Islam: A Short History — and Contemporary Issues
Karen Armstrong
Leo Baeck College for the Training of Rabbis
View Stanford Report article

November 4, 2005
The Heart of Nonviolence
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
View lecture video – scroll to the bottom of the web page to view video
Read lecture transcript

April 25, 2007
Misquoting Jesus: Scribes Who Altered Scripture and Readers Who May Never Know
Prof. Bart D. Ehrman
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
View Stanford Report article

April 18, 2008
Jesus and Judaism: The Connection Matters
Prof. Amy-Jill Levine
Vanderbilt Divinity School

January 27, 2009
Acts of Faith: Interfaith Leadership in a Time of Religious Crisis
Dr. Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core
View lecture video

February 22, 2010
Religion and Politics in the Obama Era
Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners Magazine
View lecture video

June 1, 2011
Beauty & Power, Truth & Good: 21st Century Quest
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
View lecture video

May 1, 2012
Anna Deavere-Smith, Actress and playwright
View Stanford Report article

October 17, 2013
The Adventure of Civility
Krista Tippett, Broadcaster and author
View lecture video

January 15, 2015
The Contribution of Christian Values to the Common Good
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising
View lecture video

April 18, 2016
Spirituality and the Nones
Linda Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion, Lancaster University, UK
Casper ter Kuile, Master of Public Policy and Divinity candidate, Harvard University