Toward the Black Christ: Faith Forum 2022 with Dr. Reggie Williams.

During the week of March 18, the Office of Faith and Practice in cooperation with Campolo Scholars, Palmer Seminary and Templeton Honors College welcomed scholar and author Dr. Reggie Williams for three days of invigorating conversation. The conversations centered around Williams’ acclaimed book, Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance. Williams, who has degrees from Fuller Seminary and Westmont College and teaches Christian ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary, spent his doctorate studying the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran theologian and pastor who was assassinated by the Nazis in 1945 for his political resistance to the Nazi party. Williams occupied his educational years by engaging his Black heritage and identity with his white professors and authors he was assigned. He is also an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Church. Throughout his life, he has always asked, “what does the Gospel do on the ground? […] what is the lived implication of our faith?” which led him to his focus on Christian ethics — and to the study of one individual who was deeply aware of this faith-led “lived implication,” so much that he suffered death for them.

Bonhoeffer is widely hailed as a hero for his prophetic yet singular calls to social justice for the church in a time of mass suffering when most had given in to Nazi rhetoric or were too afraid to take action. Williams’ study of Bonhoeffer asks why this privileged German man was able to form and loudly espouse such necessary and Christlike insights into Christian discipleship and Christ-powered justice; Williams answers that it was Bonhoeffer’s time living in Harlem in 1930, while he attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City, that was essential for, in Bonhoeffer’s words, a shift from “the phraseological to the real.” It was Bonhoeffer’s time in and around the Black church and the Black community in Harlem that showed him how to resist injustice, advocate for the oppressed and live bravely in Christ amidst the ongoing threat of death enacted by the state. It was the picture of Black Jesus that Bonhoeffer learned to worship: non-racialized, non-specific, yet the face of every oppressed person who suffers by regimes of injustice — as Jesus of Nazareth himself was oppressed. Experiencing the vitality of the Black church and Black community in Harlem, Bonhoeffer was a changed man — converted to a theology of political resistance, and ready to return to Germany to decry that regime of injustice.

When asked about the concept of “white Jesus” — a view that whitewashes the historical Palestinian man from Nazareth in order to co-opt him and his words for the purposes of white supremacist Christians — Dr Williams asserted that the worship of “white Jesus” is in fact a modern christological heresy rooted in gnosticism. Making salvation accessible to only the supposedly enlightened people (white people), who then in turn attempt to gatekeep the true Christ for the unenlightened (people of color), the fabrication of “white Jesus” is a product of white supremacy. Dr Williams, however, wants us — regardless of race — to look to Black Jesus to identify, listen to, advocate for and love those who are oppressed: those who are marginalized and othered, all of whom Black Jesus represents. The concept of Black Jesus asserts that Jesus was truly oppressed — politically, socially, economically — and together with our modern, postcolonial understanding, the Black Jesus clarifies the real suffering of the Christian Savior from Scripture and turns our attention to the real suffering of the oppressed today. 

When asked about how to understand Christians who oppress, enact harm, and adopt a “theology of the status quo,” Dr. Williams said that “in the U.S., we have Christianities, with many different narratives. […] Apathy [is one of those] Christian moral standard[s, … and] perpetrating suffering is a faith practice, a Christian practice.” He says that it’s “fact” that suffering is not only caused by some Christians, but that those Christians have a view of God and of Jesus that constructs for them an orthodoxy of oppression. To that, Dr. Williams asks us to examine our world with the question: “which Christianities are faithful to Black Jesus?,” i.e., which Christianities are faithful to a God who suffered as much as we do and who sees the oppressed of our day? 

Lastly, Dr. Williams reminded us that “we are always becoming.” The three days he visited our campus were filled with engaging, thought-provoking and spirited conversation, with plenty to bring us forward into a new day for Christ and his people.

A Diverse Community: Eastern’s International Festival celebrates the global community we live in.

The International Festival has been a recurring tradition during my time at Eastern, and one that many students have enjoyed. This year, the festival took place on Saturday, March 12, from 3pm to 6pm. Originally, it was supposed to be held in the Walton area of campus, but it was moved to Gough Great Room because of the snow and the power outage.

While moving the event so close to the intended start time made it a bit harder for the Student Activities Board (SAB) to set up, SAB members and students alike agreed that it improved the International Festival. Jennie Brouse, a member of SAB, remarked that because more people live in Gough, “they would walk past and see it and come in.”

Anna Davis, a student who attended the event, said, “I was still planning on going no matter what; I personally live closer [to Gough] but I know that Walton is closer to some people. I think more people would have come if it were a sunny day outside in Walton, but Gough lends itself well to that kind of event. Personally, I think Gough is a really great place to hold things. I remember that I used it a couple times when I was running something and it really lends itself to being a performance or social space, which is really necessary for something like an SAB event.”

The power outage in Walton may have improved the attendance of the event; SAB had provided catering of “soul food and comfort food,” as Colton Domblesky described it: “Jerk chicken, few types of rice, beef pies, a couple desserts and different drinks.” He added, “We had catered food that was warm and ready to eat” and he considered that one of the deciding factors in the “bigger turnout,” along with the relaxed measures concerning masks and COVID restrictions.

While many people came for the food, Domblesky shared that they “stayed for the performances.” There was a selection of performances, both student and professional. Brouse “liked the belly dancer” and said that it “was not an experience I thought I was going to have” but added that it was “really really cool.” The Nubian dancers were also a hit with both Domblesky and Davis; Domblesky referred to them as “my personal favorite” performance and Davis said that she “really liked the style of dancing that they did and they all seemed to be really devoted to it.”

When asked what they would change next year, Brouse and Domblesky had a handful of thoughts. Brouse said that she’d prefer to host the event in Gough Great Room again because she found it to work really well for that kind of event. Domblesky said he would “definitely advertise more. That’s always a downfall on this campus because of restrictions on where and how to post. I’d also think of ways to better reach out to the student body and provide incentive for people to attend.” 

The Meaning of a Mother: A student reflects on his mother’s influence in his life for Women’s History Month.

Writing about your mother is like writing a paper the night it is due: it’s pretty risky, sometimes rewarding and when it comes down to it, it’s necessary. March is women’s history month. While abundantly important, it is ultimately depressing that our world appreciates women and the contributions they have all individually brought to us so little that we need to set a month aside to remind us to. Then again, how could we ever show enough gratitude? From standout historical and current female leaders, to mothers and sisters and friends, it is overwhelmingly clear that women are some of the strongest, caring and impactful people in our world. 

While I am sure many people tend to think of their mother first in those groups, it’s for good reason– our mothers have to put up with us. An entire newspaper isn’t large enough for me to include everything my mother has accomplished, not even everything she has done for me.

From earning a doctorate in ministry to raising two children in a desert, my mother is easily the strongest person I know. Her courage to live in Kenya for 9 years (with two young children) closely after college to live out mission work makes even things like her endurance to be a woman pastor in a world that still boxes women who want to be in ministry into child care seem trivial. 

But if I’m being honest, strength isn’t what first comes to mind when I think of my mother. I think of rain. My mother has such an amazing understanding of beauty and has found so much of it everywhere we have lived, including the desert of Kenya. 

In the few and far between moments in Kenya that we would get rain, I would be found outside playing in the water and mud. In Kentucky, we would stand outside together in the rain. Because of her, I find peace and joy in the world around me; because of her I know how to love the people and world around me. The beauty in the world around me reflects the joy and peace my mother has taught me to recognize wherever I am. 

But my mother hasn’t just contributed to my life. She has held a variety of jobs spanning from being a missionary to a university library assistant. But ministry has always been where my mother’s vocation has been. She is currently the pastor at Englewood Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

This summer we’ll have lived in Indianapolis for five years, and my mother has certainly become an extraordinarily loving and wise pastor in our church community and neighborhood. If I had to sum up as much of my mother as I could in a few words, it would be these: rain, love, strength and pastoral. 

I find my mother to be quite a remarkable person, as I am sure most people would think of their own mother, but she is still just one example of a powerful and important woman. I know it might be difficult to think about things you can do for women’s history month. I encourage you to do three things. First, take some time to compile a list of women in your life who have either inspired you or been formative for who you are in some way. Second, put some words down about each of them just talking about how they have been important to you. Third, if you are able to reach out to any of the women in your list, do so. If not, then spend some time talking with a friend or family member about them. If you find that your list is rather small, I encourage you to spend some time with texts written by women.

Celebrating Pi Day: What’s this weird and obscure holiday all about?

March 14: for many, it’s a day used as an excuse to eat an assortment of pie or circular foods. But for mathematicians and  math enthusiasts alike, it’s an exciting day of math-related fun. In case you have no clue what I am talking about, March 14 is Pi Day,  the annual celebration of the mathematical symbol pi. 

It was first founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw. March 14 was specifically chosen because it represents the first three digits of pi, 3.14.  The Exploratorium, a San Francisco-based interactive science museum (and Shaw’s place of employment), held the first ever celebration with a circular parade and eating of fruit pies. Pi Day became an official nationally recognized holiday in 2009 when the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation. 

But you may be wondering, what’s the big deal? Greek mathematician Archimedes is most commonly known for being the first to calculate the estimated value of pi. Pi is an irrational, transcendental number that continues on and on for infinity. Or as Brynn Holland says, “the pi-ssibilities are endless!”

The number that never seems to end is abbreviated for problem solving with the first three digits 3.14 or the fraction 22/7. Pi holds major importance with circles because it is the consistent ratio of a circle circumference to its diameter. It is also incredibly valuable in engineering, allowing the math for modern construction to happen. 

So with a little history of Pi Day, now it’s your turn to make it  a fun day to add to your celebrations. There are so many incredible activities to participate in besides the typical eating of pie or various circular foods. To bring out your competitive side, with your friends see who can name the most digits of pi; the person who names the least has to buy the winner a circular food of their choice. Or, for even more fun, have a scavenger hunt and see who can find the most circular items in a room or even around campus. Take a picture with the items or make a list as proof. 

For those who enjoy showing their more creative side there are also some fun pi activities for you. With your friends, see who can come up with the best pi day jokes or in other words dad jokes. One of my favorites is, Why did pi fail its driving test?… Because it didn’t know when to stop. Another fun activity is to write poems with each line using the number of words in the sequence of pi. It is truly the ultimate challenge. 

If you would prefer a more lowkey Pi-related activity, my suggestion is to watch The Life of Pi or science and math related films such as Hidden Figures and Apollo 13. Or maybe even films related to pie like American Pie or Waitress. 

Whatever activity you participate in, make it a great day to recognize a number that we often fail to realize has such a major impact on our lives. 

Source: History.com

Dealing with the News Cycle: How to find healthy and productive ways to engage with the news.

If you’ve been following the news cycle recently, it can be deeply overwhelming and stressful. It’s easy to feel as though we have to be constantly plugged in to keep track of everything going on, both nationally and internationally, and social media can easily add to that idea, calling out people for not posting about the latest crisis. However, it’s important to remember that anxiety is not activism. Doomscrolling will not solve anything. So how can we deal with stressful news and crises in a productive and healthy way?

First of all, take a minute. Set the phone down and breathe. Sometimes, if you’re really struggling with an issue, it can help to get some space. I was overwhelmed by an issue close to my heart, and while spending time online was helping me understand the impact of the issue, it also was emotionally wrecking me. I needed to take a walk, and that helped a lot. Perhaps listening to music while you walk could be helpful.

Second, it often helps to find someone to talk to. However, you want to make sure that the person you’re talking to will not be someone who makes you more stressed, because sometimes conversations about the news cycle can just make both parties more worked up. Find someone who generally has a calming presence and who has made you feel better in other similar situations. 

Third, find out what you can do. Helplessness can be one of the biggest struggles we face when large-scale crises are happening. It’s easy to feel like we have no power when people are hurting on the other side of the world, but there’s usually something we can control, even if it seems small. Maybe you can donate a couple dollars to a humanitarian aid organization in the affected area, or maybe you can attend a protest in your area. If you do a little research, there’s almost always something you can do. Sometimes, just having conversations with people matters, especially if it’s a deeply divisive issue or an issue that isn’t getting much coverage. 

Lastly, be cognizant about your habits and in touch with your emotions. If you notice that, even after trying the tips above, you’re still struggling whenever you open a certain app or when you get notifications from a news source, it’s okay to take a break. Many smartphones have options to disable apps at certain times of day or to limit the amount of time you’re spending on each app. Using these built-in tools, you can make sure you’re not doomscrolling right before bed or that you only have half an hour to spend on a social media platform. There are even fun apps that reward you for not spending time on your phone.

It’s important to stay informed about what’s going on in the world, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of our mental health. If you notice that the news cycle is getting to you, take steps to help where you can and let go where you can’t.

St. Patrick’s Day: An Irish-American perspective on this holiday that spans both cultures.

Just like 31.5 million Americans, I am of Irish descent—that is roughly one out of ten Americans. But unlike many of those 31.5 million Americans, my family has much more immediate ties to the Emerald Isle (Ireland); both of my Dad’s parents were born in Ireland in the 1920s before coming to the United States in the 1960s where they met and then got married. Because of my grandparents, I possess both U.S. and Irish citizenship. As one can imagine, St. Patrick’s Day has always been celebrated with my family for as long as I can remember. 

St. Patrick’s Day is both a feast day to commemorate the death of St. Patrick who Christianized Ireland and also a secular holiday. In the United States, the day takes on the form of a celebration with drinking and celebrating Irish culture such as music and dance while in Ireland traditionally the day would include attending Mass before later in the day feasting and celebrating

The first St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States were organized by Irish immigrants. The mass parades that we see today began in the mid-19th century after the arrival of around one million immigrants as a result of the mass starvation of the An Gorta Mor (the Great Potato Famine) caused by potato crops being blighted and the British policy of exporting Irish crops. It was a time when the Irish could show their political strength and celebrate their culture when they were despised by many Americans.

Growing up, my Dad always told me that on St. Patrick’s Day “everyone’s a little bit Irish.” It is a day for everyone in the country to celebrate Irish culture. My family celebrated it mainly in the traditional American way. We did not go to church, as my family is not catholic. We would have breakfast including black and white pudding. Only the black pudding is made with animal blood; they are much closer to scrapple than what one would consider as pudding. My family would also have Irish bacon, which is closer to Canadian bacon than American bacon. Later in the day, my family makes scones and Irish soda bread to have with tea as we sit as a family. Commonly, my Dad will share stories about his parents and their childhood. Both of my paternal grandparents were born in the early days of an independent Ireland only a few short years after the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War when Ireland experienced a great amount of change. 

St. Patrick’s is one of my favorite times of the year and provides an opportunity to celebrate Irish culture and heritage. On that day, everyone’s a little bit Irish.

Sources: St. Patrick’s Day: Origins, Meaning & Celebrations – HISTORY – HISTORY, How St. Patrick’s Day Was Made in America – HISTORY, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to the One Out of 10 Americans Who Claim Irish Ancestry (census.gov)

What Should I Give Up For Lent This Year?: An exploration into the different Christian traditions for this liturgical season.

It’s that time of year again. Insects are emerging, daffodils are poking up from the ground, birds are chirping, the weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining more happily — and Christians around the world are about to observe multiple weeks of fasting, repentance, prayer, and being reminded of their death in preparation for the yearly celebration of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. This liturgical, annual season is known across the traditions as “Lent.” 

In this article, I’ll lay out how the different traditions of Christianity, marked out loosely as evangelical Protestant, mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, observe the season of Lent. I’ll talk about their different fasts, requirements, and general atmospheres around Lent. But before I do that, I want to make it clear that each strain of Christians make it clear, to varying degrees, that the spirit of a fast is more important than following the rules of the fast, and that a heart of repentance and turning to Christ is the most important part of the season. You’ll encounter individuals, pastors, or maybe whole churches that stringently adhere to the letter of the “law” when it comes to Lenten fasts, but by and large, most will in some way note that God cares more about rending our hearts to Her than She does us rending our garments (Joel 2:13). God sees the heart. Additionally, it should be noted that good pastors generally encourage adaptation of the fasts in their denominations or traditions for pregnant people, the chronically ill, and those who deal with eating disorders (and others as needed) — because, as I said, God cares more about our hearts than about following rules. 

For all four Christians streams, Lent is forty days long. This represents the forty days that Jesus of Nazareth spent fasting in the wilderness, as recorded in Matthew 4. Lent ends on Holy or Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, which is the liturgical day that observes Christ’s Last Supper and betrayal. Another way of saying this: Lent ends at the beginning of the Holy Triduum (Latin derivative meaning “three days”) which consists of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday (Easter vigil). Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, the Sunday a week before Easter, but it is still contained by Lent. Lent is approximately six weeks long, but the forty-day measurement is more meaningful because of its connection to Christ. 

In the Western churches (Protestant and Roman Catholic), Lent begins on Wednesday, March 2, on the day called Ash Wednesday. Attendants to Ash Wednesday services will often receive interment of ashes (made from last year’s palms from Palm Sunday) in the shape of a cross on their foreheads, to remind them that they are dust, and to dust they shall return (Genesis 3). This day somewhat morbidly begins the remembrance of one’s mortality that they’re called to during the season of Lent. 

In the Protestant traditions, dietary fasts are not required and are not strict. Generally, a Protestant observing Lent is encouraged to discern what’s best for themselves individually when choosing what to fast from or what devotion to add to their routine. For example, a small child might choose to fast from candy, but one of their parents may choose to add reading the Bible for ten minutes every day before bed to their daily schedule in lieu of an abstinence. A Protestant congregation by the leadership of their pastor may collectively decide to fast from the same things together, for mutual support. 

Roman Catholics tend to do similar individual abstinences/additions, but ecclesially, they’re required to fast from meat and poultry every Friday during the season as an ongoing remembrance of Good Friday, and go to confession at least once during the forty days. They also have the option of limiting the amount of meals they consume every day: one full meal, and two small snacks that together don’t exceed the amount of a full meal. A few also choose to stop eating before they are satisfied when they sit down to their daily meal.

In the Eastern Orthodox traditions, Lent begins this year on March 15, with their Easter celebration, called Pascha, on May 2. The Orthodox also observe a week of partial fasting, called cheesefare, before Lent proper begins. Their fast consists of abstinence from meat, poultry, fish (some shellfish allowed), dairy, olive oil, and wine. Cheesefare is the same but with dairy allowed. Their proper Lenten fast is essentially going vegan, with the additional abstinences from olive oil and wine.

Spring Banquet: Buy tickets now!

After a long and excruciating two-year-hiatus, one of Eastern University’s beloved traditions has finally resurfaced. For seniors, this tradition may hold a special place in their hearts, but for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, this tradition has remained elusive until now. Spring Banquet, sponsored by the Student Activities Board (SAB), is a formal dance that is held every spring semester, just about a month before the end of the semester and graduation.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, Spring Banquets for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years were not held, resulting in over 500 Eastern students missing their last “hoorah” as a college student before entering the workforce or pursuing graduate studies. This year, we SAB-ers are grateful to reinstate this greatly-missed tradition back into the Eastern community for current seniors and all underclassmen who wish to attend.

If you are not a senior, you may be wondering what the appeal of the Spring Banquet is or why you should go, seeing that it is a school-sponsored dance. Current seniors and recent-Eastern alumni recount their experiences of Spring Banquet as a memorable night where they found it easy to forget about the stress of the semester and reflect on the great times they have had as an Eastern student. 

One alumna in particular even recounted her experience with Spring Banquet as eye-opening. “I wasn’t a big party person but the food, drinks, and dancing with people I loved was the best thing ever. It made me regret not going my freshman year,” said Malicka Encarnacion (‘21). No matter your stance on parties and dancing, Spring Banquet truly offers something special for everyone, and this year is no different, especially with the chosen venue for this year’s celebration!

This year, the Spring Banquet will be held at The Barn on Bridge, located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. This venue is a fully-restored cattle barn, now complete with three levels of comfortable seating, a spacious dance floor and a state-of-the-art kitchen, with outdoor seating and gathering spaces also available. Dinner will be catered and served during the event, with ample time to dance your stress away, talk a walk around the venue or to even play yard-games with your friends or your date. 

Tickets are on sale now on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until March 18th in the Zime lounge from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, then again from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Cash and card are both accepted forms of payment. Each ticket costs $50.00 for Eastern students, or $55.00 non-Eastern students, and they are selling fast! Grab your tickets now before it is too late to sign up! Questions about the event can be directed to SAB’s staff advisor, Sabrina Severe, at stugage@eastern.edu or to an SAB staff member during ticket sales.

Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week: What is aromanticism, and how can we support aros?

In February, many people celebrated Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week! It took place from Feb. 20-26, providing an opportunity to raise awareness for this romantic orientation. 

Aromanticism “describes people whose experience of romance is disconnected from normative societal expectations, often due to experiencing little to no romantic attraction, or sometimes feeling repulsed by romance or being uninterested in romantic relationships,” according to arospecweek.org. The term aromantic is often shortened to aro, just as the parallel sexual orientation, asexual, is shortened to ace.

Asexuality, aromanticism, and agender are all grouped together under the A of LGBTQIA+. This often leads to confusion, as asexuality and aromanticism are often seen as existing in tandem. While this may be the case for some people, who might identify as acearo if they don’t experience sexual and romantic attraction, there are plenty of people who experience sexual attraction without romantic attraction or vice versa. 

Aromanticism is also a spectrum; there are many microlabels within the aro label, including labels that indicate that you experience romantic attraction only infrequently or only after you’ve developed a deep relationship with someone. Many aros have indicated that they have difficulty forming “crushes,” and some aros will choose not to pursue traditional romantic relationships. 

Socially, aros often face marginalization. Much of pop culture centers on romantic relationships: just try to make a playlist of pop songs not about love and you’ll see what I mean. Aros are often told that they just haven’t found the right person yet or that they’re mistaken about their own experiences. They can also be infantilized and treated as childish, and it can be deeply painful if friends choose to prioritize romantic relationships over their friendships. Economically, singleness can often make life difficult, especially as roommates move out to cohabitate or marry.

If you’re interested about finding out more about aromaticism, you can visit the arospecweek website and click on their link for more resources! The activist and model Yasmin Benoit from the United Kingdom often speaks out about the intersection of being Black, ace, and aro. She did a great interview with Pink News, which you can find online, and she’s active on social media as well. If you’re looking for fiction with aro main characters, Loveless by Alice Oseman is one of the most popular recommendations. Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger is one of my personal favorites, and one of the point of view characters in Tarnished by the Stars is acearo. There’s not a lot of aromantic representation out there, so support aro creators!

Refuge is also a great on-campus community for queer people and allies at Eastern. If you have questions, they’re more than willing to provide a safe space for you to search for answers.

This week, take some time to check out one of these resources. The aro flag has five stripes of dark green, light green, white, grey and black; keep an eye out for it. If you know someone who identifies as aro, ask how you can support them! 

Sources: Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week – A Celebration of Aromantic Spectrum Experiences and Identities | February 20th – 26th, 2022 (arospecweek.org), Being single and living alone is incredibly expensive – Vox

Club Spotlight: ISI Montaigne Society.

So far during my short time at Eastern, the ISI Montaigne society has been my favorite club. According to Eastern’s club website, “The ISI Montaigne Society is a literary society focused on discussion and debate of events and ideas that shape Western culture.” This is a very accurate description of the club. It is a discussion club, with the focus of the discussion being the traditions in Western society. 

During the week, we read a selected reading. Sometimes it’s an old text, other times it could be an article written a few weeks prior. Every reading deals with an element of Western civilization and its traditions. When the club meets, discussion can really go anywhere. Often, discussion’s centers around the merits of a particular aspect of Western civilization. The other week we discussed the modern trend of certain writers, comedians, and other artists becoming “canceled” by society. The week before, we discussed Lincoln’s constitutional struggles during the emancipation of slavery. It is always enjoyable to see how a discussion evolves during a meeting. We always begin the meeting discussing the reading, but often we end up somewhere completely different. This evolution is essential to a good conversation, and also, one of the reasons I look forward to attending ISI. 

One really amazing part about ISI is that our faculty advisor, Dr. Micheal Lee, regularly attends. He always has very fascinating insight. He also adds a great level of enthusiasm and is willing to discuss nearly anything at any length. 

I said near the beginning that ISI is a club that discusses tradition. More simply, it is a club that tries to foster discussions that lead to truth. The approach it takes is examining the truth that can be found and built upon in our Western civilization. Western civilization is rich in writing and thought and is the foundation of most of what we know in American society today. A central part of understanding ourselves and society, can be the study of western civilization. Many of these writers have addressed the very problems our society wrestles with. 

I encourage anyone to join ISI. If you are interested in discussing Western civilization and its merits and where it may be lacking, I would especially encourage you. We meet every Wednesday at 10 am in Baird Library. We are a small club and are always looking for members. And if you enjoy talking like myself, I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do. If you would like to contact ISI the club address is montaignesociety@eastern.edu.