2006-2007 Season Schedule
Heart of the Matter will return in January 2007.
The Heart of the
Matter lecture series is run by an all-vounteer group, and we
are taking a break for the autumn of 2006.
Thank you for your
interest in Heart of the Matter.
We'll be back, in January 2007.
Teaching the Whole Child in a Sliced and Diced-Up World
Donald Draayer at
Midway Borders 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 18, 2007
Philosophers, educational scholars, parent practitioners, and
religious leaders have long described the two elements,
"self" and "others", as basic units for wholesome
human growth and development. Self-reliance (a kind of
individualism) has long been lauded in our society, along
with cooperation with others (communities of common interest).
Individualism, by design or default, has been gaining the upper hand.
The standards movement and the closely-associated testing movement
as found today in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) are waging war on
the education of the whole child. Citizenship values may still be commonly
referenced in school mission statements, political speeches, and public
forums, but they are given little time and true relevance in the daily
experiences of children. If these trends continue, American public schools
throughout the country will soon have a limited, but common curriculum,
narrow and inflexible standards, and few alternative models to point
the way to future change.
Dr. Draayer, Minnesota and National Superintendent of the Year in 1990,
has been an educator for 49 years, including as a teacher at the
elementary, middle, high school, and college levels;
a principal at the elementary middle, and high school levels;
and a school superintendent for 22 years. He is also adjunct
professor at the University of Illinois and Senior Fellow
and Lecturer of Record at the University of Minnesota.
The Hiddenness of God
Gannon Murphy at
Midway Borders 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 15, 2007
Why doesn't God make His presence more obvious to us? Where is
God in our sufferings? Dr. Murphy explores insights from
Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard,
French philosopher Blaise Pascal, Biblical writers, and others.
Gannon Murphy holds a PhD in theology from the University of Wales,
Lampeter. He is the author of Voices of Reason in Christian
The Great Apologists, Their Lives and
Legacies and Consuming Glory:
A Classical Defense of Divine-Human Relationality Against Open
As Strong as the Mountains: The Kurdish
Robert Brenneman at Midway Borders 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2007
Dr. Robert Brenneman, author of As Strong as the Mountains: The Kurdish
Cultural Journey, will discuss traditional Kurdish mountain culture and how it is
rapidly changing due to rapid urbanization. Topics will include changes
in family and kinship ties, core values, oral culture to literacy,
religion, and the growing awareness of the importance of the Kurds as
key players in the ongoing struggles of the Middle East.
Robert L. Brenneman holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and teaches in the
department of intercultual studies and languages at North Central
University in Minneapolis. Brenneman taught English in various
locations in Turkey throughout the 1980s, including two years in a
city caught up in the conflict between Kurdish rebels and the
Dinner: Connecting at the Table
Margie Haack at Amore Coffee 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, 2007 :new location!
Looking through the lens of film and popular culture gives us insight into current trends for sharing a meal together. Margie discusses possibilities: How can ordinary people create places of safety and grace around the table? And how much designer lettuce and French cheese do we need to accomplish this?
Margie Haack is Co-Founder of Ransom Fellowship
and writes Notes from Toad Hall, a newsletter reflecting on daily life.
The Lost Tomb of Jesus
Mark Chavalas at Midway Borders 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 2007
Dr. Chavalas will discuss the historical context of the times described in the new documentary "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" by film writer, director, and producer James Cameron (Titanic, T2, Aliens).
Dr. Mark Chavalas is Professor of Ancient History at the University
of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and holds a Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern
History from UCLA.
"What Good am I?": Bob Dylan, Troubadour for our Time
Denis Haack at Midway Borders 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 17, 2007
Bob Dylan has not had a series of #1 hit singles over the years and numerous bands have sold more records, but his music and presence has consistently been at the forefront of American popular culture. We will look back over Dylan's career, listen to some of his music, and try to identify why his influence has been so great and why his songs have resonated so deeply in the souls of so many.
Denis Haack is Co-Founder of Ransom Fellowship
and editor of Critique, a publication that seeks to thoughtfully engage culture from the
perspective of Christian faith.
Fallen Angels and Deadly Kisses: The
Strange Case of Human Nature in Film Noir
Barrett Fisher at Amore Coffee 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7, 2007 :new location!
Amore Coffee is at 917 Grand Ave in St. Paul MN 55105, 651.222.6770
“People have funny things swimming around inside them,” Barbara Stanwyck asserts in Clash By Night. This sentiment underlies the perspective of film noir in its depiction of the paradoxes of human nature: our desperate ache for love alongside our shocking capacity for violence; our resourceful intelligence accompanied by an obsessive imagination; our noble restraint offset by uncontrollable passions. But even as noir explores the darker side of the psyche, it also affirms a fundamental moral code that orders the characters’ world on-screen and illuminates the audience’s experience of reality.
Barrett Fisher is Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities at Bethel University, and received his Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Project Safe Childhood
Rachel Paulose at Midway Borders 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, 2007
Rachel Paulose will speak about Project Safe Childhood, an effort of
the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the proliferation of
technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children.
Rachel Paulose is U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, a former litigator at Dorsey & Whitney, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.
We will have lectures from January through June 2007
on the third Thursday of each month at Borders Midway
in St. Paul.