Scholar in Residence, Middlebury College | Sessions on God vs. Gay?, Evolving Dharma, and Israel/Palestine Dialogue

at Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT


Dr. Michaelson will give three lectures at Middlebury College:

Wednesday night | It’s Complicated: Can We Have Productive, Nuanced Conversation about Israel/Palestine on Campus?

7:30 pm | Robert A. Jones House

On campuses across the country, conversations about Israel/Palestine are growing ever more polarized. On the one side, Israel’s most vocal supporters say the country can do no wrong, and point to its accomplishments as a Western democracy. On the other, Israel’s critics sharply criticize Israel’s occupation of the West Bank as illegal and immoral, and even the nature of the state itself as a colonial enterprise. Worse, both sides often demonize and boycott the other. Is there a way to promote better, more civil dialogue on this contentious issue? How can we understand the principles involved, and clarify where we agree and disagree?

Thursday | Evolving Dharma: Understanding the Meditation Revolution

12:30 pm | Axinn 103

The last twenty years have witnessed a revolution in the West’s embrace of meditation. Mindfulness is now everywhere: schools, hospitals, prisons, even the U.S. Marines. But the most radical changes are yet to come. With new scientific data showing how meditation changes the brain, contemplative practice is set to explode. Based on his new book, Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment, Jay will talk about our unique historical moment, in which everything we know about the mind and the brain is shifting.

Thursday night | God vs. Gay? Making the Religious Case for Equality

7:30 pm | Bicentennial Hall 216

With recent victories for LGBT equality, many Americans mistakenly believe the fight is over. Yet in “red states,” in religious communities (especially communities of color), and in non-urban areas, LGBT people are still targets of legalized discrimination and violence. With religion often being the (supposed) cause of anti-gay attitudes, we need a better, smarter, data-driven way to talk about sexuality and religion.

What works, and what doesn’t, in opening hearts and minds? How can the LGBT equality movement be good for religion, just as the civil rights movement was? Dr. Jay Michaelson, author of the award-winning book God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality and an LGBT activist on the front lines of social change, will explore these questions — and especially the ones you want to ask.


Sponsored by JStreet U, Hillel, Queers & Allies, and the Religious Life Council