I am pleased to announce the fifth annual Austin Graduate School of Theology – First Things Lecture, to be held in Austin, Texas, on Monday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. This year’s speaker will be Mary Eberstadt. Eberstadt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C.
Austin Graduate School of Theology is excited to cooperate in this lecture once again with First Things, which is one of the most widely read and influential religious journals in the United States. As an ecumenical endeavor—featuring regular contributions from Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and evangelical Protestant writers—the publication shares many of the same concerns dear to the original Restoration Movement. The journal also shares much in common with Austin Grad in particular, whose mission is to promote knowledge, understanding, and practice of the Christian faith by equipping Christians and churches for service in the Kingdom of God.
Eberstadt is the author of the new book Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics. Her other books include It’s Dangerous to Believe, How the West Really Lost God, and Adam and Eve after the Pill. Mrs. Eberstadt’s writing has appeared in many magazines and journals including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, National Review, First Things, and The Weekly Standard. Her 2010 novel The Loser Letters, about a young woman in rehab struggling with atheism, was adapted for stage, and premiered at Catholic University in fall 2017. Seton Hall University awarded her an honorary doctorate in humane letters in 2014. During the Reagan administration, she was speechwriter to Secretary of State George Shultz, and a special assistant to Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick at the United Nations. Her work can be found on her website, maryeberstadt.com.
Eberstadt will be speaking on “Searching for Self: The Non-Political Roots of Identity Politics.” She writes, “Societies across the Western world are being roiled by the unforeseen force of identity politics. From nations to individuals, ‘Who am I?’ has become the most potent question of our time. Drawing from disparate sources including anthropology, sociology, popular culture, and research into animal behavior, this speech advances a new theory about the origins of today’s frantic search for identity. It connects the growing obsession with self to the post-1960s fraying of familial ties, and makes the case that the increasingly emotive flight to collective identities is an unforeseen consequence of the sexual revolution.”
The evening lecture, and refreshments to follow, will be hosted at the University Avenue Church of Christ in downtown Austin. Admission to the lecture is free, but we would appreciate RSVPs at www.firstthings.com/austin. Parking will be available in the church lot and across the street at the AT&T garage (Click here for a map and directions)..
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