UC San Diego's Series of Public Talks on Religion and Society Supported with $100,000 Gift

November 17, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
At the University of California, San Diego, the future of public lectures focused on religion and society is more secure, thanks to a $100,000 pledge by a generous anonymous supporter. The gift to the Eugene M. Burke C.S.P. Lectureship—a privately endowed program affiliated with the UC San Diego Center for the Humanities—will help fund the lecture series that features religion scholars, best-selling authors and distinguished leaders who visit the campus for one or more days of teaching and exchanges with faculty, students and interested members of the community.

Today, as the cost of bringing top-flight speakers to campus continues to rise, the Burke Lectureship is in need of private support to ensure the program’s quality for future generations of students and general audiences. The recent $100,000 gift will help, but it comes with the donor’s stipulation that an equal amount be raised by other supporters by the end of December 2008. The donor will match the gift in increments, sending $25,000 for every $25,000 raised by private support. Donors may use a variety of philanthropic tools to give to UC San Diego, including gifts of cash or appreciated securities, annual gifts, pledges (gifts over a period of time), planned gifts such as a bequest or annuity, or matching gifts through their employers.

“This is an extraordinary time of opportunity for the Burke Lectureship,” said Fred Randel, chair of the Burke Lectureship Governing Board and former UC San Diego professor of Literature. “There is a growing awareness that religious traditions play a powerful role in world history, as well as in individual lives. Our remarkable gift-challenge will make it possible, with the help of generous supporters, for the Burke Lectureship to bring the best minds to San Diego to shed light on this important dimension of human life for many years to come.”

Established in 1984, the Burke Lectureship is committed to fostering the thoughtful reconsideration of religious traditions and values. The lecture series honors the memory of Eugene M. Burke C.S.P., a Paulist priest, distinguished teacher, theologian, scholar, church historian and ecumenist. After his retirement from Catholic University in 1976, he was closely associated with UC San Diego as a member of the Paulist ministry to students and as a member of the UCSD Catholic Community.

Featured Burke Lectureship speakers have included:

Robert Bellah
University of California, Berkeley
“Max Weber and World-Denying Love: A Look at the Sociology of Religion”

Daniel Berrigan, SJ
Poet, Peace and Justice Advocate
“Disarming the Heart, Disarming the World”

James Carroll
Writer, winner of the National Book Award for An American Requiem
“The Cross at Auschwitz”

John Haught
Distinguished Research Professor of Theology at Georgetown University
“Evolution and Divine Providence: Are they Really Compatible”

Michael Himes
Professor of Theology, Boston College
“A Theological Foundation for an Environmental Ethic”

Elizabeth A. Johnson
Professor of Theology, Catholic University of America
“Women in the Image of God, God in the Image of Women”

Richard Louv
“Children at Risk: Voices of Hope”

Thomas Stransky, CSP
Director, Tantur Institute for Ecumenical Research Jerusalem
“The Crisis of Religion in the Holy Land”

Tu Wei-Ming
Confucian Humanist and Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy at Harvard University
“Confucian Spirituality: The Idea of Immanent Transcendence”

Abdul Raheem Yaseer
Center for Afghanistan Studies, University of Nebraska
“Afghanistan, Islam, and Recent Events: An Afghan Muslim Educator’s Perspective”

The next lecture is scheduled February 25, featuring Rosemary Radford Ruether, the Carpenter Emerita Professor of Feminist Theology at the Pacific School of Religion and Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, as well as the Georgia Harkness Emerita Professor of Applied Theology at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. She has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a scholar, teacher and activist in the Roman Catholic Church, and is well known as a groundbreaking figure in Christian feminist theology. Ruether has published numerous books on the relevance of Christian history and theology to contemporary societal problems.

For more information on the Burke Lectureship series, visit www.burkelecture.ucsd.edu. Individuals interested in helping to fund the Burke Lectureship are invited to call the UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities Development Office at (858) 534-9043.

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Giving to UC San Diego
Since its founding just 45 years ago, the University of California, San Diego has rapidly achieved status as one of the top institutions in the nation for higher education and research. One of ten campuses in the world-renowned University of California system, UC San Diego enrolls more than 28,000 students each year and offers degrees in a variety of disciplines, including seven professional schools. Nationally ranked in the top ten best public universities by U.S. News and World Report, UC San Diego has also been named by Newsweek as the “hottest” institution to study science. With higher education’s share of state revenue declining each year, the university must increasingly rely on financial support from private sources. Gifts made by alumni, parents and friends play an important role in keeping UCSD at the forefront of academic and research excellence. For more information, call 858-534-1610 or visit www.giving.ucsd.edu.