"Jesus and John Wayne" and "The Meaning of Mentor" are Focus of Conversations in Christ and Culture Series

January 30, 2024
Christ and Culture Lecture

BUFFALO, NY – Canisius University’s Joseph J. Naples Conversations in Christ and Culture Lecture and Performance Series will welcome two renowned speakers to campus during the spring 2024 semester.  The annual series fosters conversations about important issues involving the relationship between Christianity and culture.  It promotes cooperation and understanding across religious, gender and ethnic lines.  

The spring 2024 lecture series kicks off on Tuesday, February 13 with Vigen Guroian, PhD, professor emeritus of religious studies (Eastern Christianity) at the University of Virginia, who will deliver a lecture titled “The Meaning of Mentor: Touchstones of Literature.”  The event begins at 5:00 p.m. in the Grupp Fireside Lounge of the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center and is free and open to the public. 

An Orthodox Christian theologian, Guroian has written widely on ethics, politics, culture, literature and education.  In addition to his academic role at the University of Virginia, he is a senior fellow at both the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Reneal in Mecosta, MI and the Center on Law and Religion at Emory University.  

Guroian is the author of several books, as well as editor of an edition of Russell Kirk’s ghost stories, Ancestral Shadows: An Anthology of Ghostly Tales.  He has also published nearly 200 articles in books and journals on a range of subjects including marriage and family, children’s literature, ecology, liturgy and ethics, genocide, and medical ethics.  

Guroian received a BA from the University of Virginia and a PhD in theology and culture from Drew University.  

The Conversations in Christ and Culture Lecture and Performance Series continues on Wednesday, April 17, when Calvin University Professor of History Kristin Kobes Du Mez, PhD, presents “Jesus and John Wayne and the Evangelical Reckoning.”  The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:00 p.m. in Science Hall Commons.  

An academic scholar, Kobes Du Mez’s research areas focus on the intersection of gender, religion and politics in recent American history.  She is the author of the New York Times bestselling and widely-reported book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured Nation.  Kobes Du Mez is also the author of A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism, which traces the remarkable life and innovative theology of the intrepid social reformer and anti-trafficking activist.  

Kobes Du Mez holds a BA in history and German from Dordt College and a PhD in American history, with concentrations in women’s history and religious history, from the University of Notre Dame.   

The Conversations in Christ and Culture Lecture and Performance Series is sponsored by the Canisius University Institute for the Global Study of Religion and the generosity of the ecumenical community of Western New York.  

For more information on the series or the upcoming lectures, contact Philip Reed, PhD, professor of philosophy, at 716-888-2609 or at @email.  

Canisius was founded in 1870 in Buffalo, NY, and is one of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. Consistently ranked among the top institutions in the Northeast, Canisius offers undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional programs distinguished by close student-faculty collaboration, mentoring and an emphasis on ethical, purpose-driven leadership.