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Tanner-McMurrin Archives

Tanner-McMurrin Lecture on the History and Philosophy of Religion

The Westminster Tanner-McMurrin Lectures on the History and Philosophy of Religion were established at Westminster College of Salt Lake City in 1987 as a means of bringing major scholars in the fields of history and philosophy of religion to deliver public lectures and conduct seminars on basic issues in religious thought and practice.

The lecturers are appointed for the national and international recognition of their scholarly achievements without regard to ethnic, national, religious, or ideological considerations.

The lectures are open to the public without charge. The lecturer may conduct seminars in which others who have special interests relating to the subject of the lecture participate by invitation. The lectures are published and made available to libraries and the general public, or they will be published in electronic form and made available, free of charge, for reading by any interested person.

The lecture is administered by the President of Westminster College, who chairs a select committee which is responsible for lectureship policies and the selection of the lecturers. The Lectureship is funded in perpetuity by an endowment gift from the late Dr. Obert Clark Tanner, formerly Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Utah, and the late Grace Adams Tanner. The Lectureship is named in honor of the late Dr. Sterling M. McMurrin who was the E. E. Eriksen Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Utah, and a former United States Commissioner of Education. Dr. McMurrin was a Trustee Emeritus of Westminster College and a former colleague of Dr. Tanner in the Department of Philosophy (University of Utah).

The preceding four paragraphs represent the original description of the lecture series as it was initiated in the fall of 1989 by Professor Martin Marty (University of Chicago, Emeritus). Over the past decade, encouraged and advised by Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish, daughter of O.C. and Grace Tanner, Dr. Michael Popich has expanded the scope of the endowed lecture series to include other occasions of public discourse as worthy of support by the lecture endowment. We trust that in diversifying our support for other forms of public discourse as we have, and as these are described above, we are still adhering to the spirit of the endowment so graciously provided by Obert and Grace Tanner.


For more information regarding the Tanner-McMurrin Lecture Series, call Dr. Michael Popich at (801) 832-2411.


Archived Lectures

1989 - Martin E. Marty, "We Might Know What to Do and How to Do It: On the Usefulness of the Religious Past"

1990 - Paul M. Van Buren, "The Change in the Church's Understanding of the Jewish People"

1991 - Jaroslav Pelikan, "Jesus, Not Caesar: The Religious World view of Thosma Garrigue Masaryk and the Spiritual foundations of Czech and Slovak Culture"

1992 - Barbara C. Harris, "Beyond Powershift: Theological Questions in a changing World"

1993 - Ralph McInerny, "The God of Philosophers"

1994 - Harvey G. Cox, Jr., "Christianity: The Third Millennium"

1995 - Rosemary Radford Ruether, "Gaia and God: Religious Resources for Earth Healing"

1996 - Steven T. Katz, "The Distinctiveness of the Holocaust"

1997 - Seyyed Hossein Nasr, "Religious Truth and Multiplicity of Religion"

1999 - E.P. Sanders, "The Historical Jesus and Christian Theology: The Significance of Historical Research for Christian Belief"

2001 - Marcus Borg, "The Wisdom of Jesus and Buddha"

2002 - James H. Cone, "Martin and Malcolm, and Black Theology"

2003 - Dr. Rene Girard, "The Uniqueness of the Biblical Religions"

2004 - D.Z. Phillips, "Has the Logical Problem of Evil Been Solved?"

2005 - John K. Roth, "Ethics During and After the Holocaust"

2007 - Alan Wolfe, "Who's Afraid of American Religion?"

2008 - Stephen T. Davis, "God as Present and God as Absent"

2009 - Michael Walzer, "Biblical Politics: The Role of the Prophets"

2010 - Diana Eck, "Faith and the 'Patchwork People': America’s Religious Promise Comes of Age"

2010–2011 - Professor Arvind Sharma (Fall 2010), "The Scientific Study of Religion: Advantages and Disadvantages"

2011–2012 - Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah (Spring 2012), "Mistakes About Islam, Mistakes About 'The West'"

2012–2013 - The Lecture Series is on hold this year.

2013–2014 - Katharina Von Kellenbach, "Toward a Christian Theology of the Shoah From the Perspective of its Perpetuators"

2014 - Professor David Novak (November, 2014), "Jewish-Christian Relations after Centuries of Hostility"

2015 - Sr. Helen Prejean (March 2015), "Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues"

2015–2016 - Professor Seyla Benhabib (October, 2015), Topic and title to be determined.