Chautauqua’s Athenaeum Hotel and most private rentals are taking reservations for the 2018 season:

• Visit chq.org/accommodations

• Visit athenaeum-hotel.com or call 1-800-821-1881

 

Email me 2018 season news & announcements

 

Interfaith Engagement

Recognizing the moral imperative of fostering deeper, more meaningful dialogue among people of different faith traditions, Chautauqua launches a series of programs throughout 2018 that engage religious leaders and communities in public and private dialogue. We build upon Chautauqua’s historic convening power and 20-year Abrahamic Program, and its growing role as a lived interfaith community, with multi-year work that brings leaders and scholars into conversation — with one another and with the broader community — and challenges us all toward interfaith learning and understanding.

Week One :: June 23 – 30

The Life of the Written Word

Language is a living and dynamic thing, passed along through writing. Words and the act of writing can erase or reclaim history, identity. We write to communicate our truths, and we read to understand, to gain new perspectives, new knowledge and new empathy. For these reasons, the literary arts find themselves at the forefront of cultural, political, and artistic conversations in the U.S. and around the world. As the line between writer and reader is blurred, we recognize that human beings are storytellers as well as story readers. In this weeklong festival, Chautauqua builds upon its traditions as a literary community, and we hold up the power of language and pledge to be responsible stewards of that power.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Producing a Living Faith Today?

Who is God in a world that has been shaped by Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Freud and Einstein? What does the Bible really say? How do you deal with the supernatural in a non-supernatural world? If God is all-powerful, why is there suffering? What does resurrection mean? What does it mean to be raised into God? Christianity is bound up with these questions, and these are the questions to be raised in this week guided by John Shelby Spong, former Episcopal bishop of Newark.

View All Week One Events

 

Week Two :: June 30 - July 7

American Identity

Who are we as Americans? Everyone has their own definition of the American identity, and most agree it’s being lost. A recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 71 percent of Americans feel the United States is losing its national identity — that is, the beliefs and values the country represents. During this week, we reach across the aisles of both politics and faith. We examine how we’ve defined American identity throughout our history and the stories we’ve told to shape that identity; the political, economic and social factors that shape our contemporary definitions; and what these different national identities — at times in conflict with one another — mean for our democracy and the prosperity of all Americans. We’ll consider whether a new foundation of American identity is necessary — or even possible.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Religion and American Identity

Religion has played a significant role in the evolution of an America identity. This week we will examine the role that religion has played in the development of that identity. Why is it that America continues to be the most religious nation in the developed world? How have various “moments” in American religious history shaped how America understands itself? We will begin with current data that will help us to know better who we have become, and who we are becoming.

View All Week Two Events

 

Week Three :: July 7–July 14

The Art of Play

Play is critically important in the social and emotional development of a child, but research also tells us that play shouldn’t end when we grow up. This week, we take a multigenerational approach to play, to the act of instructive fun. How does play help people of all ages build community, keep our minds sharp and strengthen the relationships with those we love? From the free-spirited, free-form play of youth to the intellectual challenge of puzzles and games to the creative problem-solving exhibited in board rooms, we examine the science behind the importance of play, the changing culture of play and gaming, and the innovative work aimed at improving our personal and professional lives through play.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: The Spirituality of Play

For Jews and Christians the notion of Sabbath is inscribed in the heart of the Ten Commandments and, therefore, in the heart of both religions — but how is this commandment differently understood and observed by each? How do we utilize the discipline of “taking a Sabbath day” to make space in an over-scheduled world? Why does this commandment insist on keeping the Sabbath Day holy — and how does one do that? How do faith traditions other than Judaism and Christianity relate to play? In this week we will discover that play is a necessary component of being human, and, perhaps, that play is therefore holy.

View All Week Three Events

 

Week Four :: July 14 – July 21

Russia and the West

A quarter-century has passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union — and the promise of new relationship with the West — yet we find ourselves at what some consider the brink of a new Cold War. What has happened to damage relations between Russia and the West over 25 years, how have power dynamics changed in the age of digital and information warfare, and what must we understand about the recent history of Vladimir Putin’s Russia and its relationship with the West and the world? Building upon the work of the Chautauqua Conferences on U.S.-Soviet Relations of the 1980s and 1990s, we reaffirm our need for a deeper cultural understanding of Russia, its history and its people.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Russia and Its Soul

Described by the West for decades as ‘Godless Russia,’ post-Soviet Russia has revealed that it had never actually lost its soul. In what multiple ways is this resurrected religiosity being manifested, and what else is it gradually releasing? In this week we journey into the broad heart of the Russian people.

View All Week Four Events

 

Week Five :: July 21 – July 28

The Ethics of Dissent

If dissent is the “highest form of patriotism,” at what point does dissent become harmful subversion? How does the First Amendment color the American debate on this subject, and what about other countries where these protections are nonexistent or less explicit? Is violence ever justified, and, if so, at what cost? In this week, we’ll examine the obligations of active citizens and cultural critics, look at the role dissent has played in the development of democracy and a muscular civic dialogue, and consider how dissent has changed — in the forms it takes, how it is responded to, and the rules by which society allows or prohibits it.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: The Ethics of Dissent

When one is dissenting in the public realm, morally, what can one do, what must one do, what must one not do? In what circumstances (ever?) does the end justify the means? When trying to change minds about something, what must never be violated, what line must never be crossed? In this week we will seek to discern what an effective “ethics of dissent” can look like.

View All Week Five Events

 

Week Six :: July 28 – August 4

The Changing Nature of Work

The state of work in America exists in contradictions. Wealth creation is up, but the per-capita GDP is stagnating. Working-class wages have been flat for decades, but the “gig economy” is booming. This week we study the nature of work in this country, examining the future of automation, the changing role of labor unions, the identity politics of the working classes, and the disappearing line in work-life balance. We look across generations and social classes, seeking to find who we are in a culture that ties identity to the jobs we hold, and reclaiming and honoring the dignity of work.

Program Sponsor:

GrantThornton logo web 

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: A Spirituality of Work

Judaism and Christianity, as well as other faith traditions, espouse various perspectives regarding the nature of work. What are the practices and disciplines within religions which foster an understanding of work as inherently spiritual? Does the American spirit of rugged individualism help or hurt in understanding our relationship to work? Why do Americans seem to overly identify with their jobs? Why does “What do you do?” almost immediately follow asking someone their name? Why do people (and especially men) often experience a spiritual crisis upon retirement and the ending of “work” as a focus of their lives? Does economic inequality or wealth associated with work impact us spiritually? This week will strive to help us uncover the spiritual nature of our working lives.

View All Week Six Events

 

Week Seven :: August 4 – August 11

The Arts and Global Understanding: A Week Featuring the Silkroad Ensemble, Culminating with the Silkroad Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma

Art can create a culture; it can cross borders; it can sing of possibility. In this week of performances, lectures and workshops led and influenced by the work of The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, we focus on the role of art — particularly music — in a culture, with an eye toward cross-cultural collaboration and global understanding. We explore and celebrate cultures different than our own; we examine critically the path of good intentions leading from cultural tourism to cultural appropriation; and we look for ways that earnest understanding and a shared loved of our art and each other can perhaps change the world. The Silk Road Ensemble opens the week’s lecture platform exploring the notions of home through distinct traditions and personal stories, and continues its Chautauqua residency with master classes and performances. The week culminates with a morning presentation and evening performance by renowned cellist and Silk Road Ensemble founder/artistic director Yo-Yo Ma.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Let Them Eat Cake?  Defining the Future of Religious Freedom in the U.S.

The Supreme Court’s decision on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, in which a Colorado baker refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, claiming it violated his right to practice his religion, will have been announced in June 2018. That decision will set the trajectory of the American religious world for years to come, defining the constitutional understanding of First Amendment protections for religious liberty, and determining its limits as balanced against other rights. We will explore both sides of the argument presented at the Supreme Court, and seek to understand the Court’s ruling and how it will impact religion in the future.

View All Week Seven Events

 

Week Eight :: August 11 – August 18

The Forgotten: History and Memory in the 21st Century

It is said that those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it. So we look to that history, and to the communities, movements and ideas existing at the fringes in our world today. What do we forget, at our own peril? How can we be stewards of remembering, and what must we remember? We are responsible for the histories of our societies, our families, and of our own individual selves. How can we preserve, honor, and ultimately learn from what was and what is? This meeting of the past and present hinges upon what — and who — we must remember.

 

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Not to Be Forgotten: A Remembrance on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this 50th anniversary year of his assassination we honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What have we forgotten about the messages taught by Dr. King in the 1960s? What did we fail to learn about race in America, at our own peril? Why do current day Americans love to quote from the “early King” and “I Have a Dream,” but steer away from Dr. King’s later understandings about the intersection of race, war and poverty? Let us remember, at this time in our history, in order that we might truly begin to live his dream.

View All Week Eight Events

 

Week Nine :: August 18 – August 26

Documentary Film as Facilitator: Storytelling, Influence and Civil Discourse
A Chautauqua Film and Food Festival

CHQ FilmFestival logo color web

With crowdsourcing, social media campaigns and new distribution channels, films aimed at effecting social and cultural change have found audiences unlike any time in the history of the art form. But how do we measure the impact of such films — from changing minds to changing policy? To close the 2018 season, filmmakers and film lovers gather for a weeklong festival featuring screenings and conversations in venues throughout the grounds, all alongside the Institution’s renowned lecture and arts programs. We consider the filmmaker’s role and intentions as artist, storyteller, journalist, advocate and activist; the business decisions that influence the distribution and marketing campaigns behind such films; and the effectiveness of films to create empathy — and prompt action — in its audiences.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: The Intersection of Cinema and Religious Values

Religious values continue to be a potent influence in the minds of young, contemporary filmmakers in modern America. How have these filmmakers navigated the difficult and sensitive waters of religion to bring these films to the screen? What effects are these films having? In this week we will witness the power of the visual narrative to change hearts and minds.

View All Week Nine Events