The Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement,
The College of Arts and Sciences, and The Office of Student Development at NCMC
Tuesday Night Colloquium Series at the Manhattan Campus
Mr. Udo Middelmann, CSGE International Scholar in Residence
A German national, Mr. Middelmann holds degrees in Law from Freiburg University, Germany, and in Theology from Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO. His books include “Pro-Existence,” “The Market-Driven Church,” “The Innocence of God,” and “Christianity versus Religions of Resignation.”
We invite you to join us on five Tuesdays, from 5:00 to 6:00pm at The Haven Auditorium (361 Broadway, New York, NY) to hear Udo’s presentation and engage in the following conversations:
Tuesday, February 26 at 5:00pm (Colloquium 1)
The Necessary Foundations for the Survival of Democracy in the 21st Century
Responder: Nina Balmaceda, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science
Description: Central to democracy is the ability of people to participate in their government through wise choices. It is a form of self-rule, requiring self-discipline more than self-assertion for the benefit of all. Certain understandings must be shared before this can function well. Among these are a sense of obligation to the health and education of each citizen; an accountability to future history including the consequences of past choices; to the requirement of knowledge, reflection, an open mind; limited expectations and partial, gradual accomplishment; and the responsibility for more than oneself or one’s own moment in history. Democracy requires the protected life of dissent in argument and art, the orderly transfer of power, the community of a people larger than a movement.
Tuesday, March 5 at 5:00pm (Colloquium 2)
Striving for Perfection perverts the enjoyment of the Possible and Human: "If you will have only perfection or nothing, you will always have nothing
Responder: Alfredo Cid, Ph.D.c., Instructor of Philosophy
Description: The human mind always imagines an ideal, like a perfect solution, to solve social, economic and personal problems. It envisages life in a world without problems, unfinished variety and a surprising and often painful untidiness. Yet the lure of “greener grass on the other side of the fence” comes with practically and morally impossible propositions to reshape the real world. The high cost of idealism is the loss of essential human realities. Visions of perfection are always prepared to destroy the imperfect, dynamic, living real and insist on a permanent, finished product at the expense of a work in progress. In contrast, life in the real world is always in motion, always unfinished, untidy. Ideology replaces good ideas with image of timeless, static perfection. It has Greek philosophic roots in Plato’s ideal forms and a static perfection of god, justice, beauty, while Biblical instruction speaks of continuous space and need for creative change and moral improvement in an unending dynamic.
Tuesday, March 19 at 5:00pm (Colloquium 3)
Every Idea has Legal, Political and Moral Consequences
Responder: Jennifer Kimble, Ph.D.c., Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Description: What people believe about anything is expressed in practical, political, moral and aesthetic actions. Central are different views of the human person, which result in greater or less respect, love, attention, concern, life- and justice support for people. One’s view of time and space, of purpose and destiny, of calling or fateful birth, of life and death is exhibited in laws, customs, and practices, and therefore in the way policies for individual behavior and society are made. From Dutch and English settlements in Manhattan to work habits, inventions, the use of time and the engagement against sickness and death, the effort for justice and the “rule of law” rather than the “rule of power”, from struggles for human rights to contract law: all is initiated and then colored by certain ideas from the Bible, without which human existence would be even more “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
Tuesday, April 9 at 5:00pm (Colloquium 4)
Six Effects that Biblical Christianity had on the Western World
Responder: Lyndell O'Hara, Ph.D., Professsor of History
Description: Niall Ferguson chooses six particular effects that the discovery of Biblical Christianity around the 15th and 16th century spread around the world: The sense of calling in a purposeful creation under God and his word gave rise to competence and purpose to free individuals in open competition for knowledge, skill, trade, authority. The rationality of God is confirmed in the orderliness of creation, calling for discovery, scientific pursuits and the rejection of hear-say and superstition, coupled with the pleasure of knowing from evidence rather than from belief. The whole world is an experimental laboratory for the improvement of life. The individual person is valued as the holder of rights from God, a unique personhood, put into law through property rights that are safeguarded by participatory government. The rule of Law replaces the rule of fate or power; it is anchored in the knowledge of the lawful character of God Science receives a practical application in the advances of medicine, bringing together the high value of human beings, their life and the increased knowledge of the workings of nature for the protection of life against its absurd contradiction by death. Life with hardship as under a curse is replaced by a life of purposeful work, diligence, faithfulness and honesty: the image of God as creator is carried forward through work as a liberation expression of human imagination, power, aesthetics and meaning.
Tuesday, April 23 at 5:00pm (Colloquium 5)
The Impact of Darwinianism on Christian Thought
Responder: Michael Huster, Ph.D., Professor of Physics
Description: With ever increasing pressure for the realization of personal rights, former restraints of religion, context, culture, shame and regard for others lose their influence. Instead of questions about what is just, good and beautiful, which suggest concerns about “what may I do? What ought I to do?” modernity focuses more exclusively on “What can I do” and “What can I get away with”. Survival of the fit as a mentality urges us to gain and maintain individual and momentary success as a form of ‘fitness’. We shall consider how this plays out in personal lives and in business, markets, and policies.