Harvard University
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The End of Violence

A Christian and a Secular Humanist discuss human nature and the possibility of peace

Sponsors: ABSK • Faculty Commons • Harvard Hillel • HCFA • HDS GCF • HUF

October 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Sanders Theater

About the Presenters
S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania

David Skeel is the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is the author of Icarus in the Boardroom (Oxford, 2005) and Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton, 2001), as well as numerous articles and other publications. He has been interviewed on The News Hour, Nightline, Chris Matthews’ Hardball (MSNBC), National Public Radio, and Marketplace, among others, and has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and other newspapers and magazines. Skeel has twice received the Harvey Levin award for outstanding teaching, as selected by a vote of the graduating class, and has also received the University’s Lindback Award for distinguished teaching. In addition to bankruptcy and corporate law, Skeel also writes on sovereign debt, Christianity and law, and poetry and the law, and is an elder at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. His newest book, True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of A Complex World (IVP) was released in September 2014.


Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Steven Pinker received his bachelor’s degree in experimental psychology from McGill University and afterwards moved to Cambridge in 1976 to earn his Ph.D. at Harvard University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT and teaching at Harvard and Stanford, he became a professor of psychology in MIT’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, where he taught from 1982 to 2003. He is currently Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology. Professor Pinker is an experimental psychologist who is interested in all aspects of language and the mind. In addition to many award-winning scholarly papers and books, he has written five books for general audiences, including The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature and The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. He frequently writes for The New York Times, Time, and The New Republic, among other publications.
History at Harvard University

The Veritas Forum was started at Harvard in 1992 by Kelly Monroe Kullberg during her time at the Divinity School. Since then, the Veritas Forum has expanded to over 80 schools across the world.

In September 2014, The Veritas Forum at Harvard welcomed Stanford professor Charles Lee to discuss "The American Dream - Money, God and the Pursuit of Happiness" with Harvard's Michael Puett.  The conversation was moderated by Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana.

In November of 2013, world renowned New Testament scholar dialogued with Harvard Philosophy Chair Sean Kelly in a conversation on the interpretation of the New Testament in a post-modern era at "The Bible: Gospel, Guide, or Garbage?" moderated by Jay Harris, Dean of Undergraduate Education and Harry Austryn Wolfson Professor of Jewish Studies.

In 2013, the University of Chicago's Jean Bethke Elstain and Harvard's Michael Sandel shared a dialogue on "The Role of Religion in Public Life" in Sanders Theater. HDS/HLS student Christopher Hampson moderated.

In 2012, Oxford Mathematician John Lennox spoke on "Miracles: Is Belief in the Supernatural Irrational?" to a packed audience of 650 people in Science Center C. Professor Tyler Vanderwheele, of Harvard's Epidemiology Department, moderated the Forum.

In 2011, Sri Lankan lay theologian and social critic Vinoth Ramachandra had a dialogue on pluralism with Harvard Professor Diana Eck, titled "Why Tolerance is Not Enough: Myths About Pluralism." Rodney Petersen, of the Boston Theological Institute, served as moderator.