Kalamazoo College’s 2015 Thompson Lecture will be held Monday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Olmsted Room in Mandelle Hall with guest speaker Rabbi Rachel S. Mikva, Ph.D. Her lecture is titled “Fraught Justice: Is Reward and Punishment a Dangerous Religious Idea?” The lecture is free and open to the public.
Rachel S. Mikva currently serves as the Herman Schaalman Chair in Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for Jewish, Christian and Islamic Studies at Chicago Theological Seminary. The Center and the Seminary work at the cutting edge of theological education, training religious leaders who can build bridges across cultural and religious difference for the critical work of social transformation.
After 13 years in the congregational rabbinate, Dr. Mikva went on to teach and earn her Ph.D. at Jewish Theological Seminary, focusing on rabbinic literature and the history of scriptural interpretation. Her courses address a range of Jewish and comparative studies, with a special interest in the intersections of scripture, culture and ethics.
She is the author of Broken Tablets: Restoring the Ten Commandments and Ourselves (Jewish Lights, 2000) and Midrash vaYosha: A Medieval Midrash on the Song at the Sea (Mohr Siebeck, 2012), as well as a variety of articles and academic papers on Jewish exegesis and interreligious engagement. Her current writing project is entitled Dangerous Religious Ideas: A History of Scriptural Exegesis and its Impact in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The Paul Lamont Thompson Memorial Lecture was established by a gift from the sons and daughters-in-law of Paul Lamont and Ruth Peel Thompson. A committee of alumni and friends of the College worked diligently to build the fund with gifts from those many students whose lives were enriched by Dr. Thompson’s leadership.
Paul Lamont Thompson, Ph.D., was president of Kalamazoo College from 1938 to 1949. Dr. Thompson founded the Annual Fund at K helping to ensure the financial integrity of the College for years to come. Several buildings were added to the campus during his tenure, among them Harmon Hall, Stowe Stadium, Angell Field, and Welles Hall. He served as president of the Association of Church Related Colleges during his years at K. Dr. Thompson was known as an excellent speaker whose wit, wisdom, and gentle patient manner helped nurture generations of K students.