Thursday, December 11, 2008

Religion and the Election

Those of you who are having trouble coming down from pre-election highs will find the new MIT World offering, Religion and the Election: What do we think we know?, worth a peek. Go to the MIT home page and click on Videos. Shaun Casey of Wesley Theological Seminary and Alan Wolfe of Boston College talk about how things were playing out in the run up to the vote. This was the second annual Chaplain's Seminar.

On campus things have quieted down as exams approach. Last evening the Lutheran-Episcopal Ministry held their annual Lessons and Carols. It was a lovely, candle-lit evening followed by caroling and dinner. Earlier in the week MIT paused for cider and cookies in Lobby 7. Hard work seldom gives way to reflection at MIT, but this week a lot of people are doing a lot of thinking about what is important. The weather is contributing as it is cold, wet and dark. It will be better come Christmas. This Sunday at Harvard's Memorial Church you can attend a traditional Lessons and Carols at 5 PM. On Monday the time is 8 PM. Come early!

This season is also a good time to give thought to the topic of Kathleen Norris' new book: Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks and a Writer's Life (Riverhead, 2008). Acedia is the spiritual aspect of sloth, often mistaken for depression, and treated by spiriitual disciplines. Norris knows depression and acedia. Her skill as a writer makes this part memoir, part theological reflection a restorative read for a holiday known for its emotional highs and lows.

Let me also point out for you a class to be offered in the spring--24.S10 Undergraduate Ethics Seminar To contact those involved go to This is a small step taken to introduce students to the need for ethical reflection in the work they do in and beyond MIT. It is a slight beginning, but one with great promise.