Kenneth Woodward

The Comparison Project will present the first lecture of the second year of its two-year series on miracles. Kenneth Woodward, former religion editor at Newsweek, will deliever a lecture titled “Miracles as Stories.” The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 13, at Sussman Theater in the Olmsted Center on Drake’s campus.

Kenneth Woodward served as religion editor of Newsweek for 38 years. In addition to some 100 cover stories for Newsweek, his articles, essays and book reviews have appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Commonweal, First Things, America, The Nation, and The Weekly Standard. Among his numerous awards are the National Magazine Award—the Pulitzer Prize of the magazine industry—and the Robert E. Griffin Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Art of Writing from the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater. Mr. Woodward is the author of four books, including his recently published Getting Religion: Faith, Culture and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to Ascent of Trump, which is available in paperback and will be for sale immediately following his lecture.

In his lecture, Woodward will emphasize the essentially narrative character of miracles, whether they are found in sacred literature or in personal experience. In doing so, he will draw on two of his own books, The Book of Miracles: The Meaning of the Miracle Stories in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, and Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint, Who Doesn’t, and Why, the latter of which contains a chapter on how church authorities validate miraculous claims.

The Comparison Project enacts global philosophy of religion in the local Des Moines community. It is supported by Humanities Iowa, Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation, the Drake University Center for the Humanities, the Des Moines Area Religious Council, and the Drake University Principal Center for Global Citizenship.

Future events in The Comparison Project’s lecture and dialogue series on miracles include:

  • Thursday, October 4: “The Comparison of Miracles and the Miracle of Comparison.” Jeffrey Kripal, Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Thought at Rice University. Sussman Theater.
  • Thursday, October 25: “The Intertwining of Healing and Religion in a Contemporary Chinese American Community.” Kin Cheung,assistant professor of Asian religions, department of global religions, Moravian College. Sussman Theater.

Future events in The Comparison Project’s “Meet My Religious Neighbor” open-house series include:

  • Friday, September 14, 1:30 p.m: Shafia Islamic and Cultural Center, 1425 University Ave, Des Moines
  • Sunday, October 7, 11:30 a.m.: Iowa Sikh Association, 1115 Walnut St., West Des Moines

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