Goodspeed Lecture

Here are just a few notable lecturers from past years: 
  • Martin E. Marty Religious scholar & author of "Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America"
  • Eddie Glaude Religious scholar & author of "Exodus! Religion, Race, and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America"
  • Donald K. Swearer Religious scholar & author of "Becoming the Buddha: The Ritual of Image Consecration in Thailand"
About the Series 

Edgar Goodspeed

Edgar Goodspeed, one of the most important American Biblical scholars of the twentieth century.

The Goodspeed Lectureship enables the Religion Department—often in conjunction with other departments and programs—to bring to Denison credentialed scholars related to Religious Studies, to deliver an all-campus convocation lecture. The convocation lecture, of publishable quality, is the central event of the scholar’s visit, but the visit also includes significant classroom participation and other engagement with students. The scholar’s publications are typically integrated into the curriculum of courses offered during that semester. While the principal benefactor was in the field of Biblical studies, the lectureship has enabled the College to invite scholars to lecture at Denison from the field of Religious Studies as broadly conceived.

The Goodspeed Lectureship was endowed with funds donated to Denison by the brothers Edgar Johnson Goodspeed (1871-1962) and Charles Ten Broeke Goodspeed (1869-1949), both of whom graduated from Denison in the Class of 1890. The Lectureship is named after Edgar Goodspeed, who was a scholar of Greek and the New Testament, and one of the most important American Biblical scholars of the twentieth century.

Series Archives


Colby College Professor David Freidenreich (87308)
March 27, 2017
The Goodspeed Lecture welcomes Colby College Professor David Freidenreich.
Asian Feminist Theology (87236)
March 22, 2017
The Goodspeed Lecture presents a talk about Asian feminist theology titled "Asian and Asian American Feminist Theology and Biblical Scholarship."
‘The Gambit of Global God Men’ (87309)
February 22, 2017
The Goodspeed Lecture welcomes University of Pittsburgh professor Joseph Alter presenting "The Gambit of Global God Men: Rishikesh, the Modern 'Birth Place' of Ancient Yoga."
Author and Activist Walter Echo-Hawk (86456)
February 7, 2017
The Goodspeed Lecture welcomes Native American author, activist and attorney Walter Echo-Hawk.


Religion and politics (86506)
November 30, 2016
Robert P. Jones, chief executive officer of Public Religion Research Group, presents "The End of White Christian American and Its Implications for the 2016 Election."
‘The Secret History of American Islamophobia’ (65194)
April 13, 2016
The Goodspeed Endowed Lectureship welcomes Dr. Peter Gottschalk presenting "The Secret History of American Islamophobia."


'The Unfinished Business of American Democracy' (48193)
October 8, 2015
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes theologian and social ethicist Keri Day, presenting a lecture titled "The Unfinished Business of American Democracy."
A portrait of Keri Day
Keri Day (Texas Christian University, Brite Divinity School)
October 8, 2015

"Religion that Does Justice: A Queer Feminist Approach"

'Sacred Groves as Common Property Resource' (38338)
April 20, 2015
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Eliza Kent presenting “Accidental Environmentalists: Sacred Groves as Common Property Resource.”
'The Spiritual and Intellectual Benefits of an Unstable Bible' (39159)
April 15, 2015
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Hal Taussig presenting “The Bible Bursts Its Seams: The Spiritual and Intellectual Benefits of an Unstable Bible.”
Hal Taissig speaking
Hal Taussig (Union Theological Seminary & Reconstructionist Rabbinical College)
April 15, 2015

"The Bible Bursts its Seams: The Spiritual and Intellectual Benefits of an Unstable Bible"

'Sacred Mountains in India' (38354)
April 6, 2015
The Goodspeed Lecture welcomes David Haberman presenting "Environmental Possibilities in the Worship of Sacred Mountains and Trees in India."


'Uncertainty in Ancient Christianity' (38968)
April 21, 2014
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Maia Kotrosits presenting her lecture "Who is the 'I am'?: Gender, Divinity, and Uncertainty in Ancient Christianity."
Religion in Memeland and beyond (38957)
April 17, 2014
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Timothy Beal presenting “The Word According to Rihanna: Bible and Religion in Memeland and Beyond.”
'Republican Party to Republican Religion' (38917)
April 10, 2014
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Anthea Butler presenting “From Republican Party to Republican Religion: How the Religious Right moved from the margins to the center of political action.”
Douglas E. Oakman lectures to his class
Douglas E. Oakman, Pacific Lutheran University, “Two Kingdoms, One Table: Jesus in Political Perspective”
March 27, 2014
Malcolm X and the Arab Cold War (38723)
February 27, 2014
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Edward Curtis presenting "Malcolm X in the Crucible of the Arab Cold War."
'Moral Injury and Soul Repair in the Aftermath of War' (38641)
February 6, 2014
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Rita Nakashima Brock.


James Krehbiel (Ohio Wesleyan University)
November 14, 2013

"Claiming My Voice: Sexuality and the Black Church"

Choon-Leong Seow (Princeton Theological Seminary)
October 26, 2013

"Artistic Interpretations of the Story of Job"

October 23, 2013
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes Leong Seow.
"Education: Old and New" (38473)
September 30, 2013
The Goodspeed Lecture Series welcomes John Haldane, University of St. Andrews, presenting "Education: Old and New"
Sara Patterson (Hanover College)
April 25, 2013

“‘It Was like an Oprah Moment’: Religious Expression and Experience at Salvation Mountain”

Sister Helen Prejean (Ministry against the Death Penalty)
April 9, 2013
Kwok Pui-Lan (Episcopal Divinity School)
February 5, 2013

"Occupy Religion, the Church, and Social Change"


Mary E. Hunt (Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER))
November 12, 2012

"Religion that Does Justice: A Queer Feminist Approach"

Will Womack (Research Associate of the American Baptist Historical Society)
November 6, 2012

"The Church Exotic: Popular Orientalism and the Missionary Circuit in Antebellum America"

William Propp (University of California, San Diego)
April 16, 2012

"Little Less Than Gods: Ancient Israelite Anthropology"

Kelly Brown Douglas (Goucher College)
April 2, 2012

"Claiming My Voice: Sexuality and the Black Church"


John K. Roth (Claremont McKenna College)
November 15, 2011

Crying Out for Action: The Holocaust, the Dead, and the Responsibility to Protect"

Stephanie Kaza (University of Vermont)
November 7, 2011

"Buddhist Environmentalism"

Patrick S. Cheng (Episcopal Divinity School)
October 5, 2011

"Radical Love: Why Christianity Is a Queer Religion"

Stephanie Kaza (University of Vermont)
April 13, 2011

"Beyond the Codes of Honor"

David Billotti (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
April 5, 2011

"Christian-Jewish Reconciliation"

Ulrich Duchrow (University of Heidelberg)
March 29, 2011

"Why Capitalism is Death-bound and How People Can Opt for Life—A Theological Proposal to Economists"

M. Zuhdi Jasser (advisor to the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands)
March 4, 2011

"Moderates and Radicals in Islam: How to Tell the Difference . . . and why it Matters"

Kate Ott (Religious Institute)
February 8, 2011

"In Search of a Relationship: Queering Faith, Sexuality, and Hooking-up"


David Loy (Xavier University)
November 11, 2010

"Buddhist Ecology: Reflections on Consumerism and the Environmental Crisis"

John Francis
April 28, 2010


Andrea Ruehrwein Raynor, hospice chaplain
March 29, 2010

"Serving God Around 9/11"

Russell Sanders (Indiana University)
February 25, 2010

"Caring for Creation"


Stephanie Mitchem (University of South Carolina)
November 12, 2009

"Praying for Answers: Race, Culture, Class, and Consumerism"

David Schilling (Interfaith Center)
November 9, 2009

"Activism at the Intersection of Faith and Economics"

James Krehbiel (Ohio Wesleyan University)
November 5, 2009

"Sightlines and Site Lines: Art and Archaeoastronomy"

Beverly Mitchell (Wesley Theological Seminary)
October 14, 2009

"The Struggle for Human Dignity"

James H. Cone (Union Theological Seminary)
September 24, 2009

"Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen"

Ronald Grimes, (Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
April 2, 2009

"Ritual, Media, and Conflict in the Santa Fe Fiesta"

Abdi Roble and Doug Rutledge, writers and photographers
March 30, 2009

"The Trails of Somali Muslim Refugees in Africa and America"

Eddie Glaude, Jr. (Princeton University)
March 5, 2009

"Black Studies: A Moment of Transition"

Donald K. Swearer (Harvard Divinity School)
March 5, 2009

"Buddhist Economics: An Oxymoron?"