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The Overton and Lavona Currie Lectures

About this distinguished lecture

The Overton and Lavona Currie Lecture was was founded in 1986 with an endowment from Overton and Lavona Currie. Speakers have included President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, John C. Noonan of the United States Court of Appeals, and many other distinguished scholars and practitioners. 

2018: Andra Gillespie

Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science at Emory, shares polling data regarding perceptions of President Trump by self-described white evangelicals and other demographic groups. Her lecture is titled "Political Religion and Governance in the age of Trump."

Lectures

2014: Suzan Johnson Cook

Suzan Johnson Cook, Former United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, speaks about her background advising President Barack Obama on issues related to religious freedom. 

2013: Frank S. Alexander

Frank S. Alexander, Sam Nunn Professor of Law at Emory Law and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, speaks on "Housing America's Families: Investments, Risks, and Families."

2012: Michael J. Perry

Michael J. Perry, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory Law and CSLR Fellow, speaks on "Freedom of Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Catholic Church." 

2010: The Venerable Matthieu Ricard

The Venerable Matthieu Ricard speaks on the meaning and measure of happiness in the Buddhist tradition, followed by a panel discussion.

2009: The Rev. Gene Robinson, Part 1

The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, speaks on "Why Religion Matters in the Quest for Gay Civil Rights."

2009: The Rev. Gene Robinson, Part 2

The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, speaks on "Why Religion Matters in the Quest for Gay Civil Rights."

2007: Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

Shari'a, the "passageway into being Muslim," must be freely observed by believers and loses its value when coerced by the state, says Abdullahi An-Na'im, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law and CSLR senior fellow. Islam loses authority when the government forces it on its citizens. His lecture is titled "The Future of Shari'a: Secularism from an Islamic Perspective."

2007: Judge John T. Noonan and Jean Bethke Elshtain

Jean Bethke Elshtain of the University of Chicago lectures on "Against Utopian Legalism," and Judge John T. Noonan, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, lectures on "One Center, Many Centers."

2003: Brian Tierney

Brian Tierney of Cornell University discusses "Human Rights: Before Columbus and After."

2002: Robert N. Bellah

Robert N. Bellah, University of California at Berkeley, lectures on "Marriage: Sacred Institution or Absolute Tyranny?"

Other Currie Lectures

2016: Dr. Thupten Jinpa, English Translator for His Holiness the 16th Dalai Lama, "Balancing Compassion, Justice, and Religious Beliefs," with a response by Michael J. Perry, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law

2004: Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International

2003: Luke Johnson, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

2001: Charles Villa-Vicencio, "Church, State, and Restorative Justice: Did the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Succeed in South Africa"

2000: Rebecca Chopp, Emory University, Provost, "The Poetics of Testimony"

1988: Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago, "On a Medial Moraine: Religious Dimensions of American Constitutionalism"