Lenn E. Goodman: “Love: Does God Make a Difference?”


Vanderbilt University’s Lenn E. Goodman builds upon his extensive writing and speaking on the commandment “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” as he delivers the 2013 Mafoi Carlisle Bogitsh Memorial Lecture  Feb 28.

Goodman, professor of philosophy and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, discusses “Love: Does God Make a Difference?” at the Vanderbilt Divinity School. He explores the complementary relationship of theism with humanism.

The Mafoi Carlisle Bogitsh Memorial Lecture was established by a gift from Burton Bogitsh, Vanderbilt professor of biological sciences, emeritus, and his family in honor of Mafoi Carlisle Bogitsh. She grew up as a Baptist in a small farming community in west Texas, where her mother, Una Hooper Carlisle, taught her the principle of religious tolerance.

Mafoi Carlisle studied comparative religion at Baylor University and cultivated a profound interest in various world religions and the cultures from which they arose.  This interest grew when she married Burton Bogitsh, who was of Jewish heritage. They became involved in the Unitarian tradition, and it was within the Unitarian community that Mafoi cultivated a deep understanding of the effect that cultural diversity has on religious beliefs. Through travel and exploration, Mafoi and Burton were privileged to learn about Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam in their native surroundings.  The Mafoi Carlisle Bogitsh Memorial Lecture honors Mafoi’s lifelong interest in the interplay between culture and religious expression.

Past Bogitsh Lectures have been delivered by Richard Haglund, Richard King, Anthony Yu,James Lawson Jr.John McClure and John Thatamanil.