Baccalaureate

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Baccalaureate

2022

 

 

 

 
We are pleased to introduce Lehigh University's 2022 Baccalaureate speaker, 

Thomas P. Kasulis

CHECK OUT THE  BACCALAUREATE ARTICLE IN THE LEHIGH NEWS SECTION HERE

 

Lehigh University is pleased to announce that the 2022 Baccalaureate Speaker will be Professor Thomas P. Kasulis, an internationally renowned philosophy and religion scholar widely regarded as having opened up the field of Japanese philosophy to the English-speaking world. Professor emeritus of Comparative Studies and University Distinguished Scholar at the Ohio State University, Professor Kasulis has taught and lectured around the world, having established himself as a foremost interpreter of Japanese thought and culture. A clear and creative thinker known for “wearing his erudition lightly,” as one critic put it, and for his entertaining style of presentation, Professor Kasulis will address graduating seniors and their families at the Baccalaureate service to be held on May 22 at 4:00 PM in Packer Memorial Church.

Professor Kasulis’ first book, Zen Action/Zen Person, a philosophical bestseller, was described in the Times Literary Supplement as “one of the most clear and perceptive accounts of Zen available,” an effort in understanding Zen that was “thoroughly new.” His Gilbert Ryle lectures, published as Intimacy or Integrity, argued that some cultures emphasize matters in the foreground that others place in the background.  From his distinction between intimacy and integrity cultures, he undermined the idea that cultural differences express different worlds that cannot possibly understand one another. Written with co-authors James Heisig and John Maraldo, his book, Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, has been described as ”the gold standard for comprehensive treatment of all matters of Japanese philosophy,” and about his magnum opus, published in 2018, Engaging Japanese Philosophy, it has been written that the book “is ultimately as much a meditation on philosophy’s global future as it is a reflection on philosophy’s Japanese past – – an “indispensable guide” with Kasulis not only an “insightful philosopher” but “an excellent storyteller.”

With a deep knowledge of Japanese traditions described as “unparalleled,” Kasulis has received accolades for his “unique” ability to present and interpret the subtlety of concepts embedded in Japanese culture to a broader audience, with one colleague adding that Kasulis “approaches being a living legend in the field internationally .”

Lloyd Steffen, University chaplain and professor of Religion Studies, commented, ”We are excited to have Professor Kasulis join us as our 2022 baccalaureate speaker.  Professor Kasulis’s ability to draw on the wisdom of both Western and Asian traditions promises to make his address before our graduating students a memorable event not only in the commencement weekend festivities but in their Lehigh careers.” 

Professor Kasulis has been a leading figure in the American Academy Religion and has served as president of the American Society for the Study of Religion and of the Society for Asian Comparative Philosophy. He has served on the board of The Eastern Buddhist and The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. His works have been translated into eight languages.  He received his BA, MPhil and PhD from Yale and an MA from the University of Hawaii.  At Ohio State, he has served as Chair of the Department of Comparative Studies, Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and founding Director of The Ohio State University Humanities Institute.

 

 

 


 

PAST BACCALAUREATE SERVICES

 

May 23,2021

E.J. Dionne

 

Virtual Baccalaureate

E.J. Dionne, Jr. is an internationally-recognized journalist, political commentator, thought-leader, and professor. His career began in 1975 when he went to work for the New York Times covering state, local, and national politics and also serving as a foreign correspondent. He reported from more than two dozen countries, including extended periods in Paris, Rome, and Beirut. He joined the Washington Post in 1990 as a political reporter and has been writing a twice-weekly column for the Post since 1993. It is syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group and appears in more than 250 newspapers. Dionne is a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University, where he teaches in the McCourt School of Public Policy and the Government Department. Dionne is a regular political analyst for MSNBC and NPR’s All Things Considered. He is the author of seven books, most recently the New York Times bestseller One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet Deported, co-authored with Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann.

 


2020

Cancelled due to COVID19


 

2019
Dr. Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University
Lehigh News Article

Gary Dorrien and Lloyd Steffen 
Baccalaureate Service Address given by Dr. Gary Dorrien 
Audio address available upon request.
 


 

2018
Dr. Stephen Prothero, C. Allyn and Elizabeth V. Russell Professor of Religion at Boston University
Lehigh News Article


Lloyd Steffen, Walead Mosaad, and Stephen Prothero 
Baccalaureate Service Address given by Dr. Stephen Prothero 
Recorded at Packer Memorial Church, May 20, 2018: AUDIO LINK


 

2017
Dr. John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion, Georgetown University
Lehigh News Article


Lloyd Steffen, John Esposito, and Danielle Stillman 
Baccalaureate Service Address given by Dr. John L. Espositio 
Recorded at Packer Memorial Church, May 21, 2017: AUDIO LINK.


 

2016
Dr. Charles Johnson, author and professor emeritus at the University of Washington
Lehigh News Article


Lloyd Steffen, Charles R. Johnson and Danielle Stillman 
Baccalaureate Service Address given by Dr. Charles R. Johnson 
Recorded at Packer Memorial Church, May 22, 2016: AUDIO LINK.  


 

2015  

Dr. Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University
Lehigh News Article


Eric Foner and Lloyd Steffen 
Baccalaureate Service Address given by Dr. Eric Foner 
Recorded at Packer Memorial Church, May 17, 2015: AUDIO LINK.  


2014

Professor Arvind Sharma, McGill University
Lehigh News Article


Arvind Sharma, Lloyd Steffen and Danielle Stillman


2013

James Carroll, author, journalist, historian
Lehigh News Article

James Carroll and Lloyd Steffen
James Carroll and Lloyd Steffen


2012

Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Lehigh News Article


Jody Williams and Lloyd Steffen
 

 

2011
Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether, Claremont University
Lehigh News Article


 

2010
Dr. Daniel Callahan, Hastings Center and Yale University
Lehigh News Article
 


 

2009
Professor Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago
Lehigh News Article


2008

Tenzin Robert Thurman, Columbia University
Lehigh News Article


2007

Professor Harvey Cox, Harvard Divinity School


2006

Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong, Episcopal Diocese of Newark (ret.)


2005

Dean William A. Graham, Harvard Divinity School


 

2004
Professor Mark Jeurgensmeyer, U California, Santa Barbara


2003

Professor Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago


2002

Professor Diana Eck, Harvard University


 

2001
Dr. Rebecca Chopp, Provost, Emory University


2000

Professor Tu Wei Ming, Harvard University


 

1999
Rev. Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, Chaplain, U.S. Senate


1998

Professor David Tracy, University of Chicago


1997

Professor Peter Paris, Princeton Theological Seminary


1996

Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University


1995

Rev. Will Willimon, University Chaplain, Duke University


1994

Professor Phyllis Trible, Union Theological Seminary


1993

Dean Robert C. Neville, Boston University


1992

Professor Cornel West, Princeton University


1991

Rev. James Forbes, Riverside Church, New York, NY