Come read with us! No need to prepare beforehand: we’ll provide a copy of the reading (a short piece on science and religion) and offer pizza and wine as well. All you need is to come ready to read something great, eat something delicious, and discuss some important ideas.
This story—which is somehow, unbelievably, true—probes the limits of tragedy. Based on her experience of the University of Iowa shootings in 1991, “Fourth State of Matter” is a testament to how the shock of violent events affects the human person, survivors and victims alike. Beard’s own experience of these events while working at the university’s physics department expands and webs throughout the essay, tracing luminous threads between (conflating, even) the pain of divorce and watching her dog move closer to death, between the loss of a friend and communal trauma. It’s a very sad essay, admittedly—but the writing is incredible as Beard deftly unseals the borders between truth and fiction, individual and group, survivor and victim.
"Dying is abstract and immediate. As a theological and philosophical idea, it captivates individual thinkers and entire cultures. As a practical concern, it will affect each of us; we must prepare ourselves, our families, and our friends for its approach. End of life care is a crucial aspect of this preparation and a central concern for any society. Yet in the United States, it remains an area of care often neglected: few want to confront the real challenge of dying well. As a result, dying has become a brutally painful process lost within an elaborate healthcare system. We die in hospitals, we die slowly, we die chaotically, and we die alone.
“Care at the End of Life” seeks to explore questions of how we do and should approach dying as a medical, religious, and social concern in modern America. It asks how questions of class, race, religion, and gender affect the distribution and experience of end of life care, and looks for ways to foster a compassionate and practical approach to dying. With a panel of scholars and activists with both professional and academic experience in end of life care, the event charts new possibilities as we search for the meaning of a good death."
A collaborative event with the Cambridge Science Festival, Aeronaut Brewery, and SRC.
How does the fan culture around Star Wars resemble a religion- with its founders, factions, neophytes, converts and apostates? The fervent love- and hate- that this series inspires in its fans, resemble rituals of practice, community and identity that we often speak of when talking about religions. We explore the reactions and ramifications of the decanonization of the extended Star Wars universe for the release of the 2015 Episode VII - and ask the fundamental question: why do we care? How has this series become so deeply important to so many?
The People vs. George Lucas film viewing after the panel discussion!