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The Witherspoon Forum Seminar for High School students for Fall 2023
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Revolutions in Science & Faith

October 3

October 10

October 17

at 7 PM EST by zoom

In this three-part seminar, we will explore three scientific revolutions that raise fundamental questions about God, humanity, and the cosmos: the Galileo Affair, which challenges our place in the universe; Darwin’s theory of evolution, which challenges our place in the natural world; and the ongoing revolution in artificial intelligence, which will raise both economic and existential challenges. In each case, we’ll reflect on what it means to be human, and who gets to decide.

Dr. Jamie Boulding is Associate Director of Programs and Development at the Witherspoon Institute.

He holds B.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D degrees in Theology from the University of Cambridge, as well as an MSc degree in Science and Religion from the University of Edinburgh. He has worked on Templeton Foundation postdoctoral projects in the US and the UK. His first book, which offers a new theological perspective on multiverse theory, was published by Routledge in 2021. A native of London, he lives in Princeton with his wife

and two daughters.

Revolutions & Totalitarianism

October 31

November 7

November 14

at 7 PM EST by zoom

A revolution is a rare event in which an ideological vanguard successfully spearheads the rapid transformation of a country’s state and social order (e.g., France in 1789, Russia in 1917, Germany in 1933-34, Cuba in 1959, Iran in 1979). Under what conditions do revolutions occur, and why are they so rare? Why do they often result in totalitarianism and long-lasting dictatorship? Are the advanced Western countries, including the US, in the midst of revolutions?

Dr. Brandon van Dyck is a staff member at the Witherspoon Institute. He graduated from Princeton in 2005 and completed a Masters  degree in political thought and intellectual history at Cambridge University. In 2014 he received a doctorate in government from Harvard University. Before joining Witherspoon, he was an assistant professor of Government & Law at Lafayette College, specializing in the study of political parties and political regimes, with a

regional focus on Latin America. 

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Rewinding Revolutions 

November 28

December 5

December 12

at 7 PM EST by zoom

There is today powerful nostalgia for the return of monarchical and pre-industrial ways of life. Public intellectuals advocate for more authoritarian rule while others champion returning to the land by homesteading and taking up traditional trades like woodworking. The American Revolution with other similar movements and the Industrial Revolution overturned these ways of life and established new ways that fostered the freedom and flourishing of more individuals than ever before. What, then, is motivating this seeming rejection of these key movements? Does this nostalgia indicate a failure of these revolutions? Should we attempt a return to these pre-revolutionary times?

John David Corwin is Manager of Academic Programs at the Witherspoon Institute. He studied Classics at  Samford University in Birmingham, AL and then attended Duke Divinity School for his Master of Theological Studies. He returned to work at Samford where he directed the John Howard Scholars Program and other areas of academic programming within

the College of Arts and Sciences before

coming to Witherspoon.

How to Apply

  • This program is open to high school students in grades 10, 11 and 12. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.

  • Students may apply to 1, 2 or all 3 of the seminars.

  • You may begin the application process anytime, then revise and update your packet until the deadline. Deadlines for receiving your application are as follows:

    • Revolutions in Science & Faith: September 23, 2023 at midnight

    • Revolutions & Totalitarianism: October 24, 2023 at midnight

    • Rewinding Revolutions: November 21, 2023 at midnight

  • There is a limited number of spots for these seminars. Should you be accepted, you'll be sent reading material to review before the seminar begins. We expect you to prepare the readings thoroughly, listen to your instructors and fellow students attentively, and participate with thoughtfulness and generosity.

  • There is no application fee. Those students who are accepted should submit a nonrefundable $25.00 registration fee per seminar. 

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