Spirit Matters: A Series Exploring Identity, Religion and Human Rights

Hickey Robertson

Well-known scholars and intellectuals conversant in the world’s philosophical and religious traditions will deliver a series of lectures exploring the tension between a universal discourse on human rights and the particular claims religion makes on its supporters. They will represent various faith perspectives in the promotion of human rights.

March 19 - Human Rights, Universality and Sovereignty in African and Islamic Perspectives - Abdullahi An-Na’im, Ph.D.
Abdullahi An-Na’im is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law and serves as the director of the Religion and Human Rights Program at Emory; he is also a senior fellow of Emory's Center for the Study of Law and Religion. An-Na’im is an internationally-recognized scholar of Islam and human rights in cross-cultural perspectives. 

March 23 - Political Economy and the Holistic Spirituality of Jesus - Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., Ph.D.
Obery Hendricks teaches biblical interpretation at New York Theological Seminary and is the author of The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted (Doubleday, 2006).

April 7 - The Path Beyond the Path: Mysticism and the Spiritual Quest for Universal Singularity - Elliot R. Wolfson, Ph.D.
Historian Elliot R. Wolfson, the Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, is known for his scholarly research on the history of Jewish mysticism. He was a visiting professor at Rice University’s Humanities Research Center in 2007, and has also taught at Cornell University, Princeton University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Columbia University, among others.

April 12 - Human Rights for Peace and Healing: The Right to Moral Conscience in War; Spiritual Injury in the Military - Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph.D.
Rita Nakashima Brock is a founding co-director of Faith Voices for the Common Good and a visiting scholar at the Starr King School for the Ministry, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. She is the author of numerous books on Christian theology, most recently Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, co-written with Rebecca Parker.

April 29 - The Rights of Others: Citizens, Migrants, and Residents - Seyla Benhabib, Ph.D.
Seyla Benhabib is the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and former director of Yale University’s Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics (2002-2008). She is the author of several books, including The Rights of Others: Aliens, Citizens and Residents (2004), which won the Ralph Bunche award of the American Political Science Association (2005) and the North American Society for Social Philosophy award (2004).



Rothko Chapel
3900 Yupon St.
Houston, TX 77006


Admission is free
All events are subject to change due to weather or other concerns. Please check with the venue or organization to ensure an event is taking place as scheduled.