Past Blake Lectures

The 2020 lecture was scheduled for April 2, 2020 by Sylvester Johnson of Virginia Tech. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the lecture about the impact of artificial intelligence on religion was cancelled. 

The 2019 lecture was held on February 27, 2019 by Roy Robson from Penn State. His lecture was titled, "The Art of Pimen Sofronov: Ancient Iconography is a Completely New Thing." In 1947, Pimen Sofronov emigrated to the USA where a Russian bishop told him that "ancient iconography is a completely new thing." Over the next three decades, Sofronov painted a dozen churches and trained a generation of iconographers - inspiring modern art through traditional techniques and styles. 

The 25th anniversary lecture was held on April 4, 2018 by Susan Karant-Nunn, Ph.D., Regents' Professor of History at the University of Arizona. Professor Karant-Nunn is a scholar of the social and cultural history of early modern Europe (1400-1800), with emphasis on the German-speaking lands during the Reformation. The title of the lecture was "Reformation and the Individual."

The 2017 lecture was held on April 20, 2017 by Nancy Mandeville Caciola, Ph.D., professor of history at the University of San Diego, where she is the Director of UCSD's program for the study of religion. The title of the lecture was "Ghosts and the Conversion of Europe."

The 2016 lecture was held on April 6, 2016 by Terryl Givens, Ph.D., professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond. The title of the lecture was "Constructing Mormonism: Vipers and Heroes in the American Religious Saga."

The 2015 lecture was held on April 1, 2105 by Kate Cooper, Ph.D., professor of ancient history at the University of Manchester UK. The title of the lecture was "Band of Angels: The Forgotten Worlds of Early Christian Women."

The 2014 lecture was held on April 10, 2014 by Elizabeth A. Clark, Ph.D., the John Carlisle Kilgo Professor Emeritus of Religion at Duke University. Professor Clark specializes in the field of Christianity, and she is widely credited with having a transforming influence on its study.

The 2013 lecture was held on February 21, 2013 by Carlos M. N. Eire, Ph.D., the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University. The title of the lecture was "Redefining the Sacred: Protestantism and the Birth of Modernity."

The 2012 lecture was held on February 23, 2012 by Wallace Daniel, Ph.D., provost at Mercer University. The title of the lecture was "Saintly Martyr or Religious Heretic? Alexander Men and the Russian Orthodox Church."

The 2011 lecture was held on March 31, 2011 by David Brakke, Ph.D., professor and chair of religious studies at Indiana University. The title of the lecture was "Why the Early Church Did Not Reject Gnosticism."

Other speakers coordinated by the Blake program included:

John Plotz, Professor of English, Brandeis University
"Before there was Facebook: The Long History of Distraction and Absorption"
November 1, 2012

Barbara Rosenwein, Loyola University Chicago
"Emotions and Change in History"
April 1, 2011

Paul Blowers, Emmanuel School of Religion
"Between Revulsion and Empathy: The Reinvention of Tragic Pity in Christian Responses to the Poor and the Diseased in Late Antiquity"
February 24, 2011

Emma Wasserman, Rutgers University
Evil Everywhere? Demons, Spirits, and Powers in the Letters of Paul
October 28, 2010

Kevin Wilkinson, Yale University
"New Palladas and Constantine the Great: A Recently Recovered Pagan Poet on Religion and Politics in the Later Roman Empire"
September 28, 2010

Previous lecturers:

2010: Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, Ph.D.

2009: Andrew Crislip, Ph.D.

2008: Barbara MacHaffie

2007: Dale Hoak, Ph.D.

2006: Christine Heyrman, Ph.D.

2005: Bart Ehran, Ph.D.

2004: Richard Harrison Jr.

2003: William E. Blake, Ph.D.

2002: John P. Meier, S.S.D.

2001: Jonathan Zophy, Ph.D.

2000: James Smylie, Ph.D.

1999: Edwin Gaustad, Ph.D.

1998: E. Ann Matter, Ph.D.

1997: Paul Maier, Ph.D.

1996: Samuel Hill, Ph.D.

1995: Charles Curran, S.T.D.

1994: Martin Marty, Ph.D.