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Forgotten how to hope? Philosophy prof to explore the question in Mendenhall lecture

Mendenhall speaker Smith
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James K. A. Smith, a professor of philosophy at Calvin University, will come to DePauw Oct. 5 as a speaker for the Mendenhall Lecture Series, which focuses on the academic discussion of Christianity.

Smith’s lecture, titled “When are We? Facing Our Forgetting and Discerning our Future,” asks listeners to take history seriously and consider the burdens and possibilities that they have inherited. He explores whether people have lost the practice of imagining a different future and forgotten how to hope.

Smith holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker chair in applied reformed theology and worldview at Calvin. Trained as a philosopher with a focus on contemporary French thought, Smith has expanded on that scholarly platform to become an engaged public intellectual and cultural critic. An award-winning author and a widely traveled speaker, he has emerged as a thought leader with a gift of translation, building bridges between the academy, society and the church.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at Gobin United Methodist Church. It is offered by DePauw’s Center for Spiritual Life and supported by the Bishop Matthew Simpson Endowment and Kerrilla Beamer Fund. The Rev. Dr. Marmaduke H. Mendenall in 1905 endowed a lectureship at DePauw that enabled the university to bring speakers of national and international prominence to campus.

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