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symposium theme 2024

Symposium 2024

What is the CFI Symposium theme this year?

The question of the one and the many, unity and diversity, looms large in the history of philosophical and social thought. It is also a central Christian teaching: the body is one, but has many members.
This year, Symposium will explore the interplay between our oneness and our manyness—as a country, in the church, and here at Gordon. How do we recognize our unity while doing justice to our differences? How might we become a community that brings people together and enables these same people to honor each other’s deep differences?
CFI welcomes proposals from any and all majors. How do education majors respond to these questions in the classroom? What are the implications for missions, both local and global? Might there be consideration for computer software design? How might these themes be addressed artistically? During Symposium, join faculty, students, and visiting scholars as we explore these vital questions, from all our many perspectives, together as one community.

Symposium 2024 Keynote Lecture

WHEN: April 18, 2024
WHERE: KOSC - Chair's Room and Loggia
TIME: Reception at 10 a.m., Lecture at 10:30 a.m.
Free and open to the public

In this lecture

Wisdom: One or Many? This talk will explore the category of wisdom in the Christian intellectual tradition. Some questions broached in it include: What does wisdom actually mean? How does it speak to God's role and the role of humankind in the divine plan? How has it been treated by past theologians, thinkers, and artists? How might a recovery of a vocabulary about wisdom breathe new life into Christian higher education, which currently finds itself facing many challenges?

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“Questions to Consider” about this year’s theme:

  1. What is your experience with the concept of the one and the many? How do you imagine how your shared humanity and personal distinctiveness fit together? Why is it important to emphasize the one? Why is it important to emphasize the many?
  2. How do you think your answers to these questions differ from the answers other people might give? What are some explanations for these different answers?
  3. For many of us Gordon College is an important place where the one and the many come together. How successfully is our community accomplishing this work? What are the challenges we face?
  4. The church, surely, can be a place where differences are recognized and honored, while also affirming the truth that we are one body. What is your experience with the church in this respect? How have different Christian traditions responded to this tension?
  5. The phrase "e pluribus unum" (“out of many, one”) has long been an American ideal, but one that has proven hard to achieve. Why is this? What might we do to make progress on this goal?
  6. Can you identify resources we (as a college, as the church, as a country) might use as we continue the good work of honoring our diversity while also affirming our unity?

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