MC Spring Religion Lectures Announced

February 11, 2014

Maryville College will host two divergent, thought-provoking lecturers in religion this spring. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Dr. Lynn R. Huber of Elon University in North Carolina will lecture March 3 at 7 p.m. in the College’s Lawson Auditorium about her gender studies research into the Book of Revelations. Huber, who holds her Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. from Emory University in Atlanta, focuses on apocalyptic thought in addition to her work in gender studies. The title of her presentation is “Revealing and Rejecting Imperial Family Values:  Revelation as Social Critique.”

“We hope that audience members, students and members of the community will get a sense for how some contemporary Biblical scholars approach interpretation of the Biblical texts, how they understand it, and what some current conversations in contemporary biblical scholarship are,” said Dr. Brian Pennington, Maryville College professor of religion and Humanities Division chair.

Following Huber’s appearance, the lecture series will turn eastward with the presentation of Lama Norlha Rinpoche, the abbot of Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery in New York State. He will speak April 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the College’s Lawson Auditorium. His presentation will be “A Tibetan Lama's Story: Bringing Buddhism to the West.”

Born in 1938 in eastern Tibet, Lama Norlha entered a monastery at the age of 5. During the 1950’s he fled on foot to India after Tibet became communist. He came to New York City in 1976, and lives there to this day. He is the director of several Dharma centers nationwide, including Milarepa Dzong in Happy Valley, near Maryville, Tenn.

“Lama Norlha is one of a generation that's passing from us: those who escaped from Tibet during the turbulence of the 1950's, an important historical moment,” said Pennington. “He will teach audience members about that history and his own story. But at the same time he will also speak about the current state of relationships between Tibet and China, as well as relationships between Tibet and the United States.”

Pennington added that the College wants members of the community to attend to both learn from the experience and enrich it with their own viewpoints.

“What we are offering this semester gives us two different ways of looking at religion in the contemporary world. We will be able to see how it is functioning in one strand of the Christian tradition and in one strand of the Buddhist tradition,” he said.

Huber will speak as part of the College’s Annual Lecture in Contemporary Biblical Studies. Lama Norlha will speak as part of the College’s Jackson Lecture in Asian Studies, endowed by alumna Mary Lib McKnight Jackson ‘46.

For more information about these events please contact Carolyn Potter at 865.981.8224 or carolyn.potter@maryvillecollege.edu.

By Gerhard Schneibel, News and New Media Writer