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Colliver Lecture Series

Colliver Lecture Series
Speaker Garry Wills (on left) and Dr. George Randels, department chair

Past Colliver Lectures


Some past speakers have included:

  • Margot Adler, National Public Radio correspondent and best-selling book author (see details below)
  • Asra Nomani, Muslim feminist, former Wall Street Journal reporter, and friend to the late Daniel Pearl (see details below)
  • Jacques Berlinerblau, acclaimed author and professor of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Opens a new window Garry Wills
  • Asian-religion expert and author Opens a new window Roger Ames
  • Opens a new window J. Philip Wogaman, former minister to U.S. presidents and many national politicians. At the request of audience members, Dr. Wogaman has supplied his Adobe Acrobat File lecture for download and further discussion.

Spring 2010 Colliver Lecture


Margot Adler

National Public Radio correspondent and best-selling book author Margot Adler discussed "Paganism: Religion, Not Superstition" on February 16, 2010.

Adler has been a radio producer and journalist since 1968, reporting on the interface between culture and politics, education, technology, and many other issues of the day. She is currently a New York correspondent for National Public Radio and her reports air on NPR's "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition" and "Weekend Edition." In addition, for eight years she hosted "Justice Talking," a national radio show on constitutional issues.

Adler, a practicing Wiccan, has written what many religious scholars consider to be the authoritative guide to Pagans in the United States: Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today. Her most recent book is Heretic's Heart: A Journey through Spirit and Revolution.

Adler was drawn to Paganism in the early '70s when the ecology and feminist movements were gaining strength. She said, "It was a kind of ecological religion, if you will, which said human beings were not 'above' nature, but part of nature, and that everything was interconnected. I was never particularly interested in magic or the occult, instead much more interested in nature, ecology, feminism and a religion that said all was connected."

Fall 2009 Colliver Lecture


Muslim feminist Opens a new window Asra Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and friend of Daniel Pearl, delivered the 2009 Colliver Lecture on September 30. In a personal and heartfelt talk, Nomani discussed the issues that confront Muslim women and urged her fellow Muslims to advocate for gender equity. Using clips from her documentary, Opens a new window The Mosque in Morgantown, Nomani recounted the tremendous opposition she faced to secure rights for women that are as simple as entering the front door of a local mosque, rather than a side door, or praying in the same room as males, rather than in a separate balcony. The Quran does not command such inequities, Nomani claimed; rather, they are the demands of a specific cultural interpretation of the Scriptures-an interpretation, she argued, that is out of step with both ancient Islam and the modern West. The struggle for gender equity in the faith, Nomani asserted, is nothing less than the struggle for the heart of Islam.

Opens a new windowMuslim feminist recounts perilous path (Stockton Record)

Asra Nomani
Asra Nomani spoke on September 30, 2009.