Winter Lectures Series with Romand Coles

For release January 12, 2011

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) students, staff, and faculty as well as members of the community will convene for CMU’s tenth-annual Winter Lectures Series, featuring guest lecturer Romand (Rom) Coles on the topic of political studies, January 25-26, 2011.

The CMU Winter Lectures, held annually each January and open to the public at no cost, seeks to highlight the arts, sciences, humanities, and interdisciplinary studies at CMU and to foster dialogue between these disciplines and the Christian faith.

“The Winter Lectures are always one of the highlights of the school year for me,” says Chris Huebner, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy and Chair of the Special Lectures Committee. “I especially enjoy the way the lectures strive to connect with some aspect of our common work at CMU while bringing that work into contact with new questions and conversation partners.

“We are extremely fortunate to have had such a distinguished roster of ‘Winter Lecturers’ over the years,” adds Huebner.

Guest lecturer Romand Coles, the Frances B. McAllister Endowed Chair and Director of Community, Culture, and Environment at Northern Arizona University (NAU), will present on “Resonance, Receptivity, and Radical Reformation.”

Coles came to NAU in July 2008 after teaching political theory for 20 years at North Carolina’s Duke University. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, an M.A. in Political Science from Western Washington University (WWU), and a B.S. in Social Impact Assessment/Human Ecology from WWU’s Huxley College of Environmental Studies. Coles’ most recent publications include Beyond Gated Politics: Reflections for the Possibility of Democracy (2005) and (with Stanley Hauerwas) Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversations between a Radical Democrat and a Christian (2007).

Coles will explore the themes of radical democracy, theology, philosophy, pedagogy, and grassroots community action as they relate to politics in his three lectures: “The Wild Peace (not) of John Howard Yoder” will delve into Yoder’s path-breaking work on non-violence; “Mirror Neurons, Receptive Resonance, and Radical Democracy” will focus on the perspective of neurobiological work and recent developments in the study of mirror neurons; and in “Radical Education Reform: Resonance and Engaged Pedagogical Practice,” Coles will present several examples of engaged pedagogical practices, drawing on his recent work in Northern Arizona.

“I’m excited about Romand coming here,” says Paul Dyck, Associate Professor of English and member of the Special Lectures Committee. “He is coming at things from outside the church, but at the same time, he is very interested in Christian thought and practice, so he is a particularly helpful dialogue partner for us.

“The Winter Lectures provide an opportunity for a broad range of speakers and topics, all engaged with the Christian gospel, but often in surprising ways,” Dyck continues. “This is what being a Christian university is all about, because lectures like this help the church to more deeply engage its task of being a gospel people.”

The Winter Lectures will be held at CMU’s Laudamus Auditorium at 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., with Coles’ first lecture taking place at 11:00 a.m. on January 25.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is a Christian university offering undergraduate degrees in the arts and sciences, business, communications and media, peace and conflict resolution studies, music, music therapy, theology, and church ministries, as well as graduate degrees in Theological Studies and Christian ministry. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CMU has over 1,700 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through its Outtatown discipleship program. CMU is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

For information, contact:
Nadine Kampen, Communications & Marketing Director;
Tel. 204.487.3300  Ext. 621