Surjit Singh Lecture in Comparative Religious Thought and Culture
The Graduate Theological Union has long been a leading center for ecumenical theological education and for interreligious dialogue and understanding. The annual Surjit Singh Lecture in Comparative Religious Thought and Culture builds on this tradition by fostering interreligious and cross-cultural communication and understanding, without compromising the integrity and essential telos of a religion or a culture.
This endowed lectureship brings to the GTU a distinguished scholar/church leader to address religion and culture from a cross-cultural perspective.
About Surjit Singh
The late Dr. Surjit Singh was professor emeritus of Christian Philosophy at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. He was dean of the seminary from 1972 to 1978, and was professor at the GTU from 1962 to 1988. Before arriving in the Bay Area in 1951, Dr. Singh served as a national secretary of the Student Christian Movement of New Zealand, India, Burma and Sri Lanka. He has also served as professor of systematic theology and philosophy of religion at United Theological College, Saharanpur, India. His publications included Prophetic Realism; Preface to Personality; Christology and Personality; Communism, Christianity, Democracy; and A Philosophy of Integral Relation.
Selected audio and/or video recordings and other files for these events can be accessed through the GTU Archives in the Hewlett Library.
February 21, 2013 Spirtual Other/ Spritual Self: Models of Transformative Interfaith Work (transcript)
Jennifer Howe Peace Assistant Professor of Interfaith Studies, Andover Newton Theological School Watch the lecture
February 28, 2012 Can Religion Survive the Challenge of Human Evolution? (transcript)
Robert Bellah Elliot Professor of Sociology Emeritus, UC Berkeley
November 3, 2004 Ecumenical Religious Art: The Reign of Akbar in Mughal India
Joanna Williams Professor of History of Art University of California at Berkeley
Dr. Williams’ lecture discussed Akbar, the remarkable Mughal Emperor who ruled at the same time as Elizabeth 1 in England, and was open to all the religions that he encountered in India: Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, as well as various forms of Islam. He was also a great patron of painting, which reflects both his ecumenical ideas and a certain skepticism about dogma. Williams is the author of The Two-Headed Deer: Illustrations of the Ramayana in Orissa.
November 5, 2003 Through the Gates of the Alhambra: Revisiting the Question of Islam and Pluralism
S. Nomanul Haq History of Art and Asian and Middle East Studies University of Pennsylvania
October 1, 2000 Sound and Motion as Human Unifiers: A Lecture-Demonstration
Pandit Chitresh Das Chhandam School of Kathak Dance, San Rafael
October 1, 1999 Religious Pluralism in America: A New Assessment of the Issues
Diana L. Eck Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University, and director of the Pluralism Project
October 1, 1998 Cleansing the River Ganges: Ecology and Religious Practices
Veer Bhadra Mishra Professor of Hyrdaulic Engineering at Banaras Hindu University and mahant of Sankat Mochan Temple
November 1, 1997 Religion and Culture: The Interfaces in a Global Perspective
Seyyed Hossein Nasr Professor of Islamic Studies George Washington University
October 1, 1996 Seeking Common Ground: Models for Understanding and Negotiating Religious Diversity
Judith Berling Professor of Chinese and Comparative Religions Graduate Theological Union
October 1, 1995 Proclaiming Christ in a Pluralistic World
John B. Cobb, Jr. Professor Emeritus, School of Theology at Claremont, Claremont Graduate School; Co–Director of the Center for Process Studies
October 1, 1994 Myths With and Without Political Points of View: Universalist Problems, Cross-Cultural Solutions
Wendy Doniger Mircea Eliade Professor of History of Religions University of Chicago Divinity School
October 1, 1993 Spiritual Personality Types: The Sacred Spectrum
Huston Smith Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy Emeritus Syracuse University
October 1, 1992 God's Body: And Other Problems for Men in Monotheism
Howard Eilberg-Schwartz Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies Stanford University
October 1, 1991 The Telos of Religion and Culture: An Interpretation
Surjit Singh Professor Emeritus of Christian Philosophy San Francisco Theological Seminary