2015-2017 Theme: Death and Dying

Death and Dying: What is death, religiously speaking? What happens after death, if anything? How ought we die, religiously speaking? And what postmortem rituals must others practice after we are dead? The Comparison Project’s 2015-2017 theme of theologies of death and rituals of dying will explore all these questions, focusing on tensions between traditional theologies and rituals of death and the increasing way in which death has become the domain of medicine and law.

The calendar below offers a complete listing of the events of our 2015-2017 series on death and dying. Below that, we include the events of an auxiliary spring-2016 series on aging that we are co-sponsoring with the Calvin Community Panel on Aging.

You can click on the titles of past events to find descriptions, pictures, audio files, and sometimes also manuscripts and power point presentations.

 

Programming, Fall 2016

EVENT SPEAKER DATE/TIME/LOCATION
“A Time to Be Born, and a Time to Die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2):
A Jewish View of the Modern Medical Complexities of Dying
Elliott Dorff, Rector and Sol & Anne Dorff Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy, American Jewish University Thurs. 09/15
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
The Ritualization of Death: The Journey from the Living-living to the Living Dead in African Religions Herbert Moyo, Director of the Practical Theology Programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Thurs. 10/06
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Community Interfaith Dialogue Moderated by Norma Hirsch, assistant professor of osteopathic medicine at Des Moines University Thurs. 10/27
7:00 p.m.
Iles Funeral Homes,
Dunn’s Chapel,
2121 Grand Ave, DSM
Prayers to Dead and Dying:
A Trivium of Sorts to a “Santa Muerte” Book of Hours
Eduardo Garcia Villada, Associate Professor of Spanish, Drake University Thurs. 11/17
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Community Interfaith Dialogue Moderated by Norma Hirsch, assistant professor of osteopathic medicine at Des Moines University
Thurs. 12/8
7:00 p.m.
Iles Funeral Homes,
Dunn’s Chapel,
2121 Grand Ave, DSM

 

Programming, Spring 2017

EVENT SPEAKER DATE/TIME/LOCATION
Buddhism and The Dilemmas of Death Damien Keown, Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Ethics, Goldsmiths College, University of London Thurs. 02/09
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Brain Death: Islamic Theological Responses to Medicalized Dying Aasim Padela, Director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine, University of Chicago Thurs. 03/02
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
“To Die in Peace”: Negotiating Advance Directives in a Navajo Context. 
Michelene Pesantubbee, Associate Professor of American Indian Studies, University of Iowa Thurs. 03/23
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Funeral Rituals as Spiritual Practice in Chinese Daoism
You Bin, Director of the Center for Comparative Scripture and Interreligious Dialogue, Minzue University of China in Beijing Thurs. 04/13
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Concluding Comparisons Allen Zagoren, Associate Professor of Public Administration, Drake University

Lucy Bregman, Professor of Religion, Temple University

Thurs. 05/04
7:00 p.m.
Reading Room,
Cowles Library

 

Programming, Fall 2015

EVENT SPEAKER DATE/TIME/LOCATION
How We Die: Evaluation, Reflection and Prescription  Allen Zagoren, DO, MPA, FACOS, FACN, associate professor of public administration and chair of management and public administration, Drake University; medical director of the wound healing collaborative, Unity Point Health System of Central Iowa; adjunct professor of surgery and nutrition, DesMoines University  Thurs. 9/17
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Death and Dying in Tibetan Buddhism: Presentation and Demonstration Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the Tashi Kyil Monastery Thurs. 10/8
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
La migración y el culto a la Santa Muerte: asirse a lo que sea (“Migration and the Cult of Santa Muerte: Hanging on to Whatever”) Eduardo González, research professor, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Guadalajara Thurs. 10/29
7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Christians Encounter Death: Tradition’s Ambivalent Legacies Lucy Bregman, professor of religion, Temple University Thurs. 11/19
7:00 p.m.
Pomerantz Stage,
Olmsted Center
Community Interfaith Dialogue Moderated by Norma Hirsch, assistant professor of osteopathic medicine at Des Moines University
Panelists: Sayeed Hussain, pediatrician, West Des Moines Children’s Clinic; Pramod Mahajan, associate professor of pharmacology, Drake University; Joseph Moravec, professor of theology and philosophy, Mercy College of Health Sciences; You Bin, Fulbright visiting scholar, Fuller Theological Seminary
Thurs. 12/3
7:00 p.m.
Iles Funeral Homes,
Dunn’s Chapel,
2121 Grand Ave, DSM

 

Programming, Spring 2016

EVENT SPEAKER DATE/TIME/LOCATION
Community Interfaith Dialogue Moderated by Norma Hirsch, assistant professor of osteopathic medicine at Des Moines University
Panelists: Robert Aubrey, chaplain (retired), Unity Point & Broadlawns; David Kaufman, rabbi, Temple B’Nai Jeshurun; Yogesh Shah, associate dean, Des Moines University 
Thurs. 2/11
7:00 p.m.
Iles Funeral Homes,
Dunn’s Chapel,
2121 Grand Ave, DSM
Eternal Life, Death, and Dying in Jainism  Christopher Chapple, Navin and Pratima Doshi Professor
of Indic and Comparative Theology, Loyola Marymount University Thurs. 3/3
7:00 p.m.,
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Giving Back:  Above + Beyond Cancer’s 2015 trip to Nepal Members of Above + Beyond Cancer’s 2015 mission trip to Kathmandu Thurs. 3/24
7:00 p.m.
Reading Room,
Cowles Library
Secular Death   Amy Hollywood, Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies, Harvard University Thurs. 4/14
6:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
The Ethical Engagement With the Medicalization of Death in the Catholic Tradition Gerard Magill, Vernon F Gallagher Chair and Professor of Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University Thurs. 5/5
7:00 p.m.
Reading Room,
Cowles Library

 

Calvin Community Panels on Aging, Spring 2016

Calvin Community is a faith-based, not-for-profit continuing care retirement community nestled in Des Moines’ Beaverdale neighborhood. The Church & Community Advisory Board of Calvin has scheduled six public panels to bring educational information on the issues of aging deemed to be of most interest to Iowans. This series will be recorded and made available to community and religious organizations. Each panel will feature a primary speaker as well as responding panelists. Attendees will be able to ask questions. All videos from the Embrace Aging Panels can be found here.

EVENT SPEAKER DATE/TIME/LOCATION
Healthy Aging and Brain Wellness Dr. Robert Bender, Geriatric Specialist, Broadlawns Medical Center Tues. 1/26
7:00 p.m.,
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Supporting our Parents Joel Olah, Executive Director, Aging Resources of Central Iowa Tues. 2/23
7:00 p.m.,
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Care-giving Charles Wurth, Arbor Springs Management Services Tues. 3/29
7:00 p.m.,
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Chronic Disease Self Management Dr. Yogesh Shah, Geriatric Specialist, Des Moines University Tues. 4/26
7:00 p.m.,
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Economic Security David Strege, managing partner, Syverson & Strege Company Tues. 5/24
7:00 p.m.,
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center
Aging and the Law Denise Hill, JD, MPA, Director of Health Law Programs, Drake University Law School Tues. 6/21
7:00 p.m.,
Sussman Theater,
Olmsted Center

Student Resources on Death and Dying