» Huntington Lectureship

Established in honor of Prof. Ron Huntington, who taught at Chapman University from 1960-1994.  Prof. Huntington served as co-director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute with Dr. Kurt Bergel in the 1980s, was Dean of the World Campus Afloat Program in the 1960s, and is remembered especially for his popular course on modern world religions. The Huntington Lectureship was established in 1994 to bring prominent scholars in world religions to lecture at Chapman. 

Past Lectures



Chakravarthi Ram- Prasad

“Engendering Emotion?:  The Devotional Theology of an 8thCentury Hindu Woman Poet-Mystic”
Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad
Professor of Comparative Religion and Philosophy
Lancaster University, UK


"The Experimental Metaphysics of Free Will: A New Interdisciplinary Dialogue"
Karma Matrix: A Buddhist Perspective on Time and Free Will
 Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Director, Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Determined to be Free & Free to be Determined: 
Meditation and Implications for the Art of Observation, Destiny, and Free Will
Gurucharan Singh Khalsa
Director of Training Internationally, Kundalini Research Institute & Khalsa Consultants 
Portland, Oregon

Both Huntington Lecturers also joined other conference presenters for:

An Afternoon Roundtable Discussion:
Exploring How the Day's Interdisciplinary Findings Transform our Conception of Free Will

An Evening Dialogue:
Have we got it all Wrong? How Emerging Understandings in Science, Religion & Philosophy Radically Alter Free Will and Determinism



Religion Gone Astray: Getting to the Heart of Interfaith

Presented by “The Interfaith Amigos”

Imam Jamal Rahman
Pastor Don Mackenzie
Rabbi Ted Falcon 

The authors of Getting to the Heart of Interfaith and Religion Gone Astray confronted the imperatives and pitfalls of interfaith dialogue with humor and wisdom.  Pastor Mackenzie, Rabbi Falcon and Imam Rahman—now known as the Interfaith Amigos—started working together after 9/11. Since then, they have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences in the US, Canada, Israel-Palestine and Japan. Their first book, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith (Skylight Paths, 2009), brought the Interfaith Amigos international attention with coverage from the New York Times, CBS News, the BBC and various NPR programs. Karen Armstrong calls their “exuberant and courageous” second book, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith (Skylight Paths, 2011), “an inspiration and example for all of us in these sadly polarized times.”  Learn more about the Interfaith Amigos.


Buddhist Retreat:  Vilmalakirti Sutra

Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Director, Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The two-day retreat focused on the Vimalakirti Sutra, an early Mahayana Buddhist text with dramatic episodes and expansive views that served as an encouragement that the highest levels of spiritual attainment are open to laypersons.  The retreat was led by Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi a Tibetan monk and Buddhist chaplain at MIT, well-known for his warm, humorous and lucid teachings.  Co-sponsored with Prajnopaya SoCal.



The Secret Jews of Italy: A Journey of Discovery

Rabbi Barbara Aiello
Founder and Director of the Italian Jewish Cultural Center of Calabria
First Woman Rabbi in Italy

In this lecture Rabbi Barbara Aiello explored the extraordinary story of the secret Jews of Calabria and Sicily.  She is the first woman rabbi in Italy and the first non-orthodox rabbi. Rabbi Aiello traces her own roots back to Calabria where her father was raised and where she organized Ner Tamid del Sud, the first active synagogue in the south of Italy in 500 years. Through her work as founder and director of the Italian Jewish Cultural Center of Calabria, many Italians have learned of their Jewish heritage going back to a time when Jews, forced to convert, practiced their Judaism in secret and risked their lives to hold on to Jewish traditions and values.


Dealing with Stress, Anxiety and Anger 

Venerable Thubten Chodron
Internationally renowned author, Tibetan Buddhist nun, and Abbess of the Sravasti Abbey.

In her teaching, Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood by Westerners.


A Contemplative Guide to Joyful Living

Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Director, Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Venerable Priyadarshi is a Tibetan monk, well-known for his warm, humorous and lucid teachings that reveal the relevance of Buddhist teachings in the contemporary world.




Restoring Food Democracy

Dr. A. Whitney Sanford
University of Florida

Dr. Whitney Sanford received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and her primary areas of teaching and expertise are Religion and Nature and Religious of Asia. Her current research focuses on environmental movements of the global South, religious attitudes towards agricultural sustainability, and the relationship between agricultural biotechnology and forms of neo-colonialism. Dr. Sanford has done extensive field research in India and in this lecture, she presented a portion of her newest project “Gandhi’s Environmental Legacy: Food Sovereignty and Social Movements” investigating Gandhi’s influence on sustainability and food and water sovereignty movements around the world. View Dr. Sanford's lecture.


Jihad and Radical Non-Violence in Islam

Dr. Irfan A. Omar
Marquette University

Dr. Irfan Omar specializes in Islamic thought with a special focus on inter-religious connections between Islam and other religions, and on non-violence. A student of the renowned Islamic peace advocate, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, who was himself a companion of Gandhi, Dr. Omar was selected as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in the Faculty of Theology of Muhammadiyah University, Indonesia, for his work on Islam and non-violence.  He has published several books including, Heirs of Abraham, A Muslim View of Christianity, Islam and Other Religions, A Christian View of Islam and Islamic Thought in Contemporary India: An Exploration of Maulan Wahiduddin Khan’s Al-Risala Movement. View Dr. Omar's lecture.

Islam Taken Captive

Islam Taken Captive 

Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Quazwini
Founding Imam, Islamic Educational Center of Orange County

Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Quazwini was born in Karbala, Iraq to an intellectually and scholarly family, who traced their lineage back to the Holy Prophet Muhummad.  He initiated  his higher theological studies in Islam at the seminary in Qum, under the instruction and guidance of prominent Muslim theologians and philosophers.  In addition to being the founding imam of Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, he has also published numerous books and articles on Islam in Arabic and English and is an avid participant in interfaith dialogue.

Ines Talamantez

Loss of Land & Language Leads to Loss of Theology: A Native American Perspective

Dr. Inés M. Talamantez
University of California, Santa Barbara

Inés M. Talamantez is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  A member of the Mescalero Apache tribe with a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Talamantez is a pioneer of the field and an internationally acclaimed scholar of Native American Religious Traditions. Coming to UCSB in 1978 from Dartmouth, she created a doctoral program with an emphasis on Native American religion.
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