Jay McDaniel of Hendrix College to Discuss Chinese Spirituality at Science and Religion Lecture at Chestnut Hill College  

Release Date: Thursday, February 26, 2009

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Shakespeare tells us that the whole world is a stage, and the men and women are its players. If this is true, then China is now at center stage, but also shares that stage with many other nations. What happens in China will consequently affect the whole world.

Jay McDaniel, Ph.D., professor of religion at Hendrix College in Conway, Kansas will discuss “The Prophetic Witness of Chinese Spirituality for World Christianity” on Thursday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Social Room of Fournier Hall.

An intellectual movement is emerging in China called “constructive postmodernism” which seeks the emergence of sustainable communities as its guiding ideal. For constructive postmodernists, sustainable communities can be villages, cities, provinces, or the nation as a whole. They are communities which are creative, compassionate, participatory, respectful of diversity, and spiritually satisfying, with no one left behind. Constructive postmodernists in China know that most communities in China are unsustainable. Their hope, though, is that China can undergo a cultural transformation and take sustainability, thus defined, as its guiding ideal. Part of living in a sustainable community they say, is to have a “spiritual” side to one’s life but also to avoid the excesses of inordinate religious zeal.

In his lecture, Dr. McDaniel will describe the “constructive postmodern” movement in China and its relevance to the wider world, including the Christian world.

He will explore the possibility that today God calls all people, including Christians, to be less “religious” and more “spiritual” in their approach to the world.

Since 1979, Jay McDaniel, Ph.D has been a professor of religion at Hendrix College and since 1984, the director of the Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy. He is the co-founder and member of the board of directors of The Center for Spirituality and Sustainability and a member of the board of directors of the Center for Respect of Life and Environment in Washington, D.C. He is also a member of The Higher Education and Sustainability Working Group, The American Academy of Religion and the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies. Jay McDaniel spent three summers teaching “constructive postmodernists” in China.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, Ph.D. at 215.248.7197 or e-mail kduffy@chc.edu