University of Rochester

EVENT: Ferrari Humanities Symposia: Reformations in Western Thought

April 4, 2013

The Protestant Reformation led to great changes in religious thought and practice, but the technological, social, and political changes that helped create it are far less well known. The University of Rochester will explore these issues and more April 8 through 10, with a symposium that features talks by influential church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch.

Titled "Reformations in Western Thought," the 2013 installment of the Ferrari Humanities Symposia looks at many of the advances associated with the 16th century movement and how they helped change disciplines ranging from medicine to education. "It's important for people to understand that political issues and religious conflicts that arose at that time continue to reverberate in our modern world," said Thomas DiPiero, dean for humanities and interdisciplinary studies. "So many current events show that conflicts and debates about science and religion are still very much with us."

The upcoming events include a keynote lecture by MacCulloch, professor of the history of the Church at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St. Cross College. His lecture, which starts at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, in the Hawkins-Carlson Room, is titled "Toleration in Reformation Europe: Laughter Versus Tidy-Mindedness." MacCulloch also will participate in a conversation on "The Role of Religion in Contemporary Culture" at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, at the Memorial Art Gallery. The conversation will be moderated by Russell Peck, the John Hall Deane Professor of English.

Established in 2012 by University Trustee Bernard Ferrari '70, '74M (MD) and his wife Linda Gaddis Ferrari, the symposia includes an annual lecture by a visiting senior scholar of humanistic thought with an emphasis on the Renaissance period, an intensive short course taught by faculty members from across the University, and focused study in reading groups. This year's topic builds off nine courses related to the reformation that were offered to University students in fall 2012. The courses were taught in fields including English, history, religion, and Spanish.

More information on the symposia visit,