Grateful for an Excellent Veritas Forum

The Upper House team is grateful for wonderful collaborators in planning/hosting UW-Madison’s Veritas Forum, which took place on October 10, 2017. Dr. John Lennox (University of Oxford) and Dr. Larry Shapiro (UW-Madison Philosophy) engaged in a spirited conversation that reflected a generosity of spirit and commitment to civility that, unfortunately, is increasingly rare in our contentious culture. A deep sentiment of gratitude also goes to Dr. Jeff Hardin (UW-Madison Integrative Biology) for moderating the discussion. Our friend, Phil Haslanger, wrote a story on the event for Selfless Ambition. You can read it here.

Jamie Smith on “You Are What You Love” (Plus Radio Interview about visit to Upper House)

James K.A. Smith is a leader in Christian thought, whose books and lectures have challenged and inspired for over a decade. We’re thrilled to have Jamie with us at Upper House on September 29, 2017, for a full day of presentations and dialogue exploring timeless theological and philosophical questions in light of contemporary cultural dynamics. In his most recent book, You Are What You Love, the driving questions Jamie wants us to consider is the extent to which we shape culture, and the extent to which culture shapes us. How we answer those questions, whether we know it or not, will be a reflection of who and what we love.

For a snapshot of Jamie’s work and to listen to a recent Faith Radio appearance about his time at Upper House click here, then scroll down to September 22, 2017, hour #2.

Millennials Bring a Fresh View to Science and Theology (An Evening with Greg Cootsona)

Upper House hosted Dr. Greg Cootsona on September 21-22, 2017. The following article appeared in Selfless Ambition and featured his enlightening remarks on the future of the science and faith dialogue, especially as shaped by the changing attitudes and experiences of Millennials.

Join us on Tuesday, September 5 for an All-Campus Worship Night & Open House, featuring Adoration House

UW-Madison students! Upper House welcomes YOU back to campus – whether you’ve walked through our doors just once, attended a couple events, or if you have daily found yourself studying on one of our orange couches, we want to gather together to kick off the year! 

Join us for an all-campus worship night, led by Adoration House. Come together to adore Jesus and reunite with your campus community doing life with Jesus and with each other. Worship starts at 7:00 pm followed by an open house with free food!  


Adoration House is a weekly gathering of friends who worship, pray, and grow together. It all started when Chris and Emily Castrova simply wanted to create a space in their home for other believers to come together and adore Jesus. From this place, they hope to foster a family-like community who does life with Jesus and with each other. At the core of it all, they desire to gather deeply rooted believers and invite them into a space where they can go deeper in worship and prayer. Adoration House seeks to bring together young adult Christ followers in this city who hunger for more of Him and for like-minded friends.

Explore Science and Theology and C. S. Lewis with Dr. Greg Cootsona on September 21-22

Greg Cootsona is a Lecturer in Religious Studies and Humanities at California State University at Chico and directs the Science and Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries (or STEAM) grant housed at Fuller Theological Seminary. His books include Creation and Last Things: At the Intersection of Theology and Science (Geneva, 2002) and C. S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian (Westminster John Knox, 2014)

Join us for: 

Science and Theology Reading Group
Thursday mornings in September (7, 14, 21, 28) at 8:00 am 
In this four-week reading group, we’ll explore Cootsona’s book, Creation and Last Things, dedicated to bridging the gap between science and faith (Dr. Cootsona will join us for week 3).
 
Mere Christianity and Mainstream Science | Thursday, September 21 at 12:00 pm
Join us to better understand some of the tensions inherent in science and faith discussions, exploring questions of science and faith compatibility, advancing technology, and the implications of belief in a divine creator.
 
Keynote: Future of Science and Faith | Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 pm 
In this interactive lecture, Dr. Cootsona will explore how issues of science may be re-situated by faith leaders in the years to come. Special attention will focus on how current students are understanding the faith and science dialogue.
 
Ministry Lab for Campus Ministry Leaders | Friday, September 22 at 9:00 am 
How does the interaction of science and faith inform our search for a more meaningful life, especially in relation to the students we serve on campus? 
 
C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian | Friday, September 22 at 7:00 pm 
Dr. Cootsona will discuss his book, C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian, in which he probes the life of C.S. Lewis through the lenses of death, doubt, temptation, and competing worldviews.

Join us for events with James K.A. Smith on September 29

James K. A. Smith is a professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. The author of a number of influential books, Smith also regularly writes for magazines and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesSlateFirst ThingsChristianity TodayBooks & Culture, and The Hedgehog Review and serves as editor-in-chief of Comment Magazine.

Join us for:

Ministry Lab with Jamie K.A. Smith | Friday, September 29 at 9:00 am 
James K.A. Smith and William Cavanaugh will come together to discuss their co-edited book covering the topics of evolution, creation, and the fall through the lens of biology, theology, history, Scripture, philosophy, and politics.
 
Faculty/Staff Lunch with James K.A. Smith | Friday, September 29 at 12:00 pm James K.A. Smith wrote How Not to be Secular, as a guide to reading and interpreting Charles Taylor’s seminal work, A Secular Age. Smith will discuss his book, the broader implications of Taylor’s argument, and the place of Christian witness at a time when conditions of belief are shifting dramatically.
 
You Are What You Love | Friday, September 29 at 7:00 pm 
In this public lecture, James K.A. Smith will unpack the effects of dominant contemporary cultural liturgies that thrive on our acceptance of mass consumption, violence, exploitation, and injustice. As a response, he argues that a deeply rooted life of spiritual discipline incubates the loves and longings that lead to a more peaceable kingdom.

Upper House in the News for Madison Chief of Police, Mike Koval, Conversation

We are grateful for the Capital Times for their recent reporting of our “Faith in the Heart of the City” conversation with Madison Chief of Police, Mike Koval. Read the story here and stay tuned for our next “Faith in the Heart of the City” event with Parker J. Palmer (October 18).

Introducing “Faith in the Heart of the City” Series Beginning May 16

How does faith inform the work of our civic, academic, and marketplace leaders? What faith-inspired lessons have our key leaders learned throughout their lives and how do they play out in the everyday demands of public engagement? Join us for our new Upper House series entitled, Faith in the Heart of the City. Three confirmed speakers and dates for our upcoming series include:

  • Dr. Kathy Cramer, a UW-Madison professor of political science and faculty director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service on Tuesday, May 16 at 12:00 pm;
  • Mike Koval, Chief of Police for the City of Madison on Tuesday, June 27 at 12:00 pm; and
  • Parker Palmer, author, educator, activist, and founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal on Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00 pm. We hope you can join us for this series! 

Register for our first event in this series – http://bit.ly/KathyCramer  

John Terrill and Phil Haslanger discussing our upcoming series, Faith in the Heart of the City

Faith in the Heart of the City Promo from Daniel Johnson on Vimeo.

Join us on April 3 & 4 for author and speaker Joshua Ryan Butler

In an age of cultural contradiction, we are often fearful to wrestle with difficult subjects that can inform who we are and who we are becoming, both individually and in community? Join us as we welcome author and speaker, Joshua Ryan Butler, on April 3 & 4, in partnership with Blackhawk Church. Read more details and register below:

Joshua Ryan Butler on The Skeletons in God’s Closet on Monday, April 3 at 7:00 pm – Register here

How can a loving God send people to Hell? Isn’t it arrogant to believe Jesus is the only way to God? Why is there so much violence in the Old Testament? Joshua Ryan Butler, author, speaker, and pastor of local and global outreach at Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon, tackles these questions head on in his paradigm-shifting book, The Skeletons in God’s Closet. Join us for this free event as we wrestle with these topics – these skeletons – and discover how they are proclamations of a God who is good in both his actions and his very nature.

 

Student Leader Training with Joshua Ryan Butler on Tuesday, April 4 at 5:00 pm – Register here

How do you lead on campus within a fractured culture? How does our own spiritual formation influence the lives of others? Can discussing subjects of theology, justice, culture, and worship create individual transformation and a flourishing community? Student leaders from church and campus ministries are invited to join Joshua Ryan Butler, author, speaker, and pastor of local and global outreach at Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon as we explore leading as emerging adults on campus and in the Madison community. Pizza to follow Josh’s talk and Q&A.  

Joshua Ryan Butler on The Pursuing God on Tuesday, April 4 at 8:00 pm – Register here

 Is God lost? Many of us feel that way – as if it is our job to search for God and to find our faith. But what if we have it backward? Joshua Ryan Butler, author, speaker, and pastor of local and global outreach at Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon, tackles these questions in his book, The Pursuing God, highlighting that Jesus reveals a God who comes after us. The question then becomes, “Do we want to be found?” Join us for this free event as we explore the revelation of a reconciling God who is in pursuit of us. 

 

Mark Your Calendars for ‘Reimagining the Sacred & the Cool’ on April 7

On Friday, April 7, Upper House will be hosting a rich discussion on how sacred tradition informs the cultivation of a shared literary and moral imagination. Historically, literature has been a central aspect of a liberal arts education and the formation of citizens in the west. And yet the study of literature, and the humanities at large, is no longer central in our educational institutions. While some blame pop-culture, a lack of funding, or technologies of distraction, others have looked within. In Lisa Ruddick’s groundbreaking essay, “When Nothing is Cool,” she argues that “decades of anti-humanist one-upmanship,” and a general “thrill of destruction,” have resulted in a sweeping malaise of suspicion that now defines academic discourse. “Nothing in English is ‘cool,’” she says, but “on the other hand, you could say that what is cool now is, simply, nothing.” Which begs the question, if nothing is cool, what can we celebrate, let alone enjoy?

In this one-day symposium, we will examine the landscape of a literary culture at the limits of hermeneutic suspicion. One path forward, according to philosopher Richard Kearney, would be to reimagine the sacred as a fundamental category of criticism, even for scholars and artists who do not think of themselves as explicitly religious. Looking to the work of 20th century atheists, agnostics, and apostates, like James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Marcel Proust, Kearney illustrates how spiritual and moral impulses consistently inform the literary imagination. In a contemporary setting, the same impulses are voiced in the poetry of Fanny Howe, the late Mark Strand, and Adam Zagajewski, along with the novels of Elena Ferrante, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don DeLillo, and Michel Houellebecq.

This spring we are excited to welcome both Ruddick and Kearney, along with literary critic Jon Baskin, poet G.C. Waldrep, and editor John Wilson, to help us reimagine the sacred, and the cool, and reconsider the place of the literary imagination in our world today.