Dr. Christopher Buck Discussing “God and Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America” Featured in May 3 Anniversary Web Talk No. 5
The fifth in a series of free Web Talks marking the twentieth anniversary of the Wilmette Institute will be held on Sunday, May 3. Dr. Christopher Buck will discuss “God and Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America” at 2 p.m. Eastern time (11 a.m. Pacific time, 7 p.m. GMT U.K., 8 p.m. Western Europe). To hear the talk you will need to register before the talk begins to receive a link for joining the Web Talk. We recommend that you join at least five minutes before the talk is scheduled to begin. You will “arrive” in a waiting room and will be “admitted” to the talk when it is about to begin.
God and Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America, the title of Dr. Buck’s talk, is also the title of a book he has written. Buck says that he believes that the “`idea of America’ is at the heart of American studies. It defines who we are as Americans, at least in theory. In practice, the ‘idea of America’ offers a golden opportunity to engage in public discourses of society. When ‘God and country’ further inspires the ‘idea of America,’ the ‘idea of America’ becomes a ‘theology of America.’” This is the central thesis of both Dr. Buck’s book and his talk.
Dr. Buck goes on to say that “It is not necessary to disparage other religions in favor of Christianity, Buddhism, or the Bahá’í Faith. . . . On the contrary, it is good to find common ground,” which is “one important goal of interreligious dialogue.” For a “prerequisite to interfaith discourse is becoming knowledgeable, both about one’s own faith and the faith of others. . . .” Another prerequisite is “convergence,” not “conversion.” Dr. Buck asks, “Can we, as Americans, agree on what America can, or should, stand for?”
In his talk, as in his book, Dr. Buck offers a handbook that treats “each of the religions even-handedly,” an approach that allows for engaging productively in public discourses about American society
Dr. Buck, who holds a doctorate in the study of religion and a law degree, is an attorney in Pennsylvania and an independent scholar. He has taught at Michigan State University, Quincy University, Milliken University, and Carleton University. He has written chapters for a number of books, encyclopedia and journal articles, and a number of books, including Religious Myths and Visions of America: How Minority Faiths Redefined American’s World Role; Alain Locke: Faith and Philosophy; Paradise and Paradigm: Key Symbols in Persian Christianity and the Bahá’í Faith; and Symbol and Secret: Qur’an Commentary in Bahá’u’lláh’s Kitáb-i-Íqán.
All Wilmette Institute Web Talks are given on Sundays and begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time; 11 a.m. Pacific; 7 p.m. GMT U.K.; 8 p.m. Western Europe. Talks scheduled for the remainder of 2015 include:
June 7: Dr. Sandra Lynn Hutchison, “What Every Reader of the Bahá’í Writings Needs to Know”
August 30: Dr. Susanne Alexander, “Healthy, Unified Marriages as Service to Humanity”
September 6: Dr. Arthur Lyon Dahl, “Navigating the Storm: The Transition to Sustainability”
September 28: Dr. Baharieh Rouhani Maani, “The Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees”
October 18: Dr. Sovaida Maani Ewing, “Building a World Federation: The Key to Solving Our Global Crises”
November 15: Dr. Steve Friberg, “Science and Religion”
December 6: Dr. Michael Penn, “The Nature of the Human Mind: A Bahá’í Perspective”
Click here for information on the Web Talks and the speakers