The Roundtable is a regular discussion group where graduate students, local professionals, and professors gather to explore the implications of Christian teachings and practices for all spheres of life. We aim to answer questions such as:

  • How do I do what I do as a Christian?
  • How ought a Christian think about a particular topic?

All members of the Cornell and Ithaca community are welcome to attend these free events. The Roundtable is co-sponsored by Graduate Christian Fellowship and Chesterton House Center for Christian Studies, and is funded in part by GPSAFC.

Fall 2015

When: October 24, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Big Red Barn
Who: Dr. Ryan O’Dowd, Senior Scholar, Chesterton House, Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies, Gordon College
Title: Where the Wild Things Are: Is ‘Creation Care’ in the Bible?
Abstract: ‘Creation Care’ can mean any number of things, depending on how we understand the meaning and scope of creation and what level of jurisdiction we assign to human care.  This talk will explore biblical expressions of ‘creation care’ not only within the familiar creation mandate in Genesis 1-2 but also through the many, often overlooked biblical passages that speak to our human agency in greater detail.  In conversation with Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, I will argue that we need to be awakened from our apathy and neglect while guarding against our tendency to anthropocentric hubris.

When: Saturday, November 21, 7:00pm
Where: The Big Red Barn
Who: Professor Sarah Ellen Hamersma, Associate Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at Syracuse University
Title: Why Do Economists and People of Faith Need Each Other?

Abstract: Policy makers can be influenced by their constituents, whether individuals or communities, including communities of faith. It makes sense for people of faith to consider what their roles might be in helping society set goals that promote human flourishing.  At the same time, there is a distinction between promoting goals and promoting specific policies; the goal of poverty alleviation, for instance, could be pursued in a variety of ways. Economists are in a position to evaluate how different policies play out; we have both theoretical models and real-world data that can be utilized to that end, and the church could benefit by taking a look at our analysis before championing a particular policy solution to a major social challenge. There are real synergies that can develop if economists and people of faith recognize the value that each adds to creating a policy environment that promotes human flourishing.

Previous Roundtables:

Spring 2012

Spring 2011

Fall 2010