OSU's "Ideas Matter" lecture series to examine God


CORVALLIS - An Oregon State University series called "Ideas Matter" will explore the images and concepts of God through a series of lectures this fall term.

Called "How I See God - the Sacred," the series is sponsored by Oregon State's Department of Philosophy and organized by Marcus Borg, the Hundere Distinguished Professor at OSU and one of the nation's premier scholars in religious studies.

Last year's Ideas Matter series drew standing-room-only crowds, Borg said, prompting a move to the Snell Hall Forum on campus. Each of the lectures will run from 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, and are free and open to the public. A local high school plans to format a class around the series.

"Our ideas about God matter," Borg said. "They can make the sacred seem real or unreal, and very much affect our sense of what it means to take the sacred seriously."

Seven speakers will present their "personal views, not academic presentations" on the topic, he added. Those speakers include:


  • Oct. 12 - Marcus Borg, the Hundere Distinguished Professor in OSU's Department of Philosophy and organizer of next February's "God at 2000" conference.


  • Oct. 19 - Jill McAllister, Unitarian minister from Kalamazoo, Mich., and former pastor of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship in Corvallis.


  • Oct. 26 - Larry Halpern, rabbi of Jewish congregations in West Linn and Bend, and former senior rabbi in Orlando, Fla.


  • Nov. 2 - Jan Bays, teacher at the Zen Community of Oregon in Portland and a pediatrician specializing in child abuse.


  • Nov. 9 - Isaiah Jones, campus minister and Westminster House, a Presbyterian pastor, a hymn writer, and a Grammy Award-winner.


  • Nov. 16 - Kathleen Dean Moore, chair of the Department of Philosophy, and nature-writing author of "Riverwalking" and "Holdfast."


  • Nov. 23 - Nicholas Yonker, emeritus professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and an author and mystic.