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COME LEARN WITH US.

In our educational program we seek to explore the resources of the Christian Tradition and draw on critical scholarship in order to understand contemporary cultural change and address shared human questions in ways that enrich and challenge the university community. Our educational initiatives cover a broad range of issues, but we focus on several areas of inquiry that play a crucial role in modern culture.

TECHNOLOGY & THE HUMAN

CREATION CARE & SUSTAINABILITY

CREATIVITY & THE ARTS

SELF & SOCIETY

FAITH & VOCATION

MORAL & SPIRITUAL FORMATION

HIGHER EDUCATION & THE UNIVERSITY

In addition to our lectures, classes, reading groups, publications, and podcast, the Study Center hosts Pascal’s Coffeehouse, an expression of Christian hospitality and an embodiment of the Christian understanding we seek to explore as a Study Center. 

LECTURES

Spring 2024

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Tuesday, January 23rd | Reception 6:30 PM | Orientation/Lecture 7:00pm | CSC Classroom

CSC OPEN HOUSE AND SEMESTER KICK-OFF

Michael Sacasas, Executive Director 

Join us at our open house event as we kick-off the fall semester. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., where light food and refreshments will be served. The reception will be followed at 7:00 p.m. by an orientation to our fall program and a talk by our Director, Mike Sacasas. 

"To See the World Whole" 

We live in what the poet Richard Wilbur called a "scattering time." The most powerful forces at work within us and without are disintegrating forces. These trends are long-standing even if their unfortunate consequences are only now becoming apparent in an increasingly polarized society and a worsening mental health crisis. How might we learn to see the world whole again? To overcome the various forms of alienation that characterize our experience? And is there anything education can do to help us overcome this fragmentation? These are the question we will take up in this talk. 

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Thursday, February 1st | Reception 7:00pm & Lecture

7:30pm  | CSC Classroom

AI IS GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING! OR WILL IT?: HOW TO THINK ABOUT NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN A DEEP, RIGOROUS, AND HUMANISTIC FASHION

Dr. Lee Vinsel, Virginia Tech University 

Acting wisely in the context of new technologies can be difficult because both utopian and dystopian forms of hype create unrealistic and misleading visions of near-term change. Analyzing historical and contemporary examples of hyped technologies, Dr. Vinsel will argue that wisdom in the context of hype is hard but not impossible. Most of all it requires embracing the intellectual and spiritual dimensions of uncertainty—acknowelding that, as it comes to so many things, we simply do not and cannot know.  

 

 

Lee Vinsel studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. He is the author of Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States and The Innovation Delusion: How Our Obsession With the New Has Disrupted the Work that Matters Most. Since 2015, with his collaborator Andy Russell, Vinsel has organized and led The Maintainers, a global interdisciplinary research network that examines maintenance, repair, and mundane work with technology.

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Tuesday, March 19th | Reception 5:30pm & Lecture 6:00pm |

CSC Classroom

DEMOCRACY, RELIGION, AND CITIZENSHIP: THE BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLE IN FLORIDA FROM RECONSTRUCTION TO THE GREAT DEPRESSION

Dr. Paul Ortiz, University of Florida 

Paul Ortiz (Ph.D. Duke University, 2000) is Professor of History at the University of Florida and the director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. 

 

He is the author of Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920. He also co-edited and conducted oral history interviews for the book, Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South.

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Sunday, April 7th | TBD First Presbyterian Church 

THE SPIRIT OF OUR POLITICS

Michael Wear, Center for Christianity and Public Life

The Study Center is pleased to co-sponsor First Presbyterian's Keeter Lectures featuring Michael Wear. 

Michael Wear is the Founder, President and CEO of the Center for Christianity and Public Life, a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution based in the nation's capital with the mission to contend for the credibility of Christian resources in public life, for the public good. His latest book, The Spirit of Our Politics: Spiritual Formation and the Renovation of Public Life, will be released on January 23, 2024. 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Spring 2024

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Wednesday, March 6th | 7:00 PM | CSC

SPRING CONCERT

Join us for an evening of music and conversation led by classical guitarist, Joseph Shields. 

Joseph Shields is a graduate of Yale, Marshall, and Stetson Universities receiving

degrees in Music Performance and Music Theory. He has served on the faculties of Shawnee State and Marshall University. He was awarded the Eliot Fisk Prize “to an outstanding guitarist” by Yale University where he was heralded for his “exciting and virtuosic playing.”  He currently serves as Music Director

at Faith Presbyterian Church in Gainesville and is a board member of Guitar Sarasota. 

 

Refreshments Provided 

Joseph Shields

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February 23rd and 24th | TBD | CSC

FOOD AND THEOLOGY WORKSHOP

Anabel White and Michael Sacasas

Undergrad and graduate students are invited to register for a two-day workshop (Friday evening - Saturday afternoon) focused on food, community, and theology featuring conversations over shared readings and shared meals, the last of which will be prepared together.

 

The workshop will be led by Anabel White and Mike Sacasas. There is no cost to attend, but the event is capped at 20 participants.

CLASSES

CLASSES

Spring 2024

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Wednesdays beginning January 31st at 11:45 a.m. | CSC Classroom

THE WAY OF JESUS: READING THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT

Director's Class — Michael Sacasas   

No single biblical text lays out what it means to follow Jesus as directly as the Sermon on the Mount. And no other text has been so frequently interpreted so as to convince readers that Jesus did not actually mean what he seems quite clearly to be saying.

 

The aim of this class will be to take Jesus's ethical teaching seriously, while not setting aside the proper tools of theological interpretation, and to consider what it might mean for the way of Jesus to be the path to human flourishing. 

Lunch Provided. 

READING GROUPS

Spring 2024

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Fridays 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16 | 10:40 a.m.

HANNAH COULTER BY WENDELL BERRY

Laurie Goddard and Hannah Garcia  | CSC Classroom 

Wendell Berry is a poet, essayist, and environmental activist. He has also written a series of novels based on a fictional town in Kentucky. Hannah Coulter is one of these novels. We learn about Hannah and hear her story from childhood to old age. As she states it, "this is my story, my giving of thanks." The pace of the novel provides a counter-rhythm to our own harried lives and will open up conversation around community, belonging, patience, and the nature of the good life.

Coffee provided.

Purchase Hannah Coulter from our Bookshop.org storefront to support the Study Center. 

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Thursdays 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 2/29, 3/7 | 5:30pm

PLANETWISE BY DAVE BOOKLESS

Dr. Gretchen Stokes and Natalie van Hoose |  CSC Classroom 

For many of us, faith lives in one box and feelings about the environment live in another. In Planetwise, Dave Bookless walks through Scripture to show why the natural world is not a backdrop for the gospel, but rather an integral part of how Christ is making all things new. In this interactive series, we’ll explore why creation care is a gospel issue and what our response as stewards of creation can look like, examining the Bible to discover what the planet reveals about the heart of our Creator and how this shapes what it means to be human.

 

Snacks and coffee provided. Free secondhand copies of Planetwise will be provided to the first 10 attendees.

 
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Mondays 1/29, 2/12, 2/26, 3/18, 4/1 | 12:50 PM

FACULTY READING GROUP

Dr. Brent Henderson | CSC Classroom

The CSC Faculty Reading group welcomes faculty and PhD students, especially those involved in teaching undergraduates. We focus on readings connected to thoughtful teaching, student formation, vocation, virtue, and anything that might help us be better mentors, teachers and colleagues.

Join Prof. Brent Henderson (Linguistics) as he leads this group through Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education by David Hicks. 

 

Coffee provided. 

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Wednesdays 1/10, 1/31, 2/21, 3/13, 4/3, 4/24 | 7:30pm

ALUMNI READING GROUP

Juan Alcala | Google Classroom

The virtual reading group is aimed at the community of Study Center alumni far and wide. This reading group will span both the fall and spring semesters, and it will be led by Juan Alcala, a former manager of Pascal's. 

Juan will be guiding the group through a reading of the Iliad by Homer (translation by Robert Fagles). 

 

Contact Anabel Zimmerman at anabel@christianstudycenter.org for more details and to be added to the mailing list for the group. 

Director's Class
READING GROUPS

PODCAST

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:

A PODCAST OF THE CHRISTIAN

STUDY CENTER

Staff

If you've not done so already, take a moment and subscribe to our podcast here. You can peruse past installments here. We use the podcast to post audio from program content and also occasional interviews with guest scholars and writers. 

The podcast is also available on the following podcast listening apps:

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