Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

Russell Lecture March 7

Russell Lecture on Spiritual Life with Dr. Ofelia Zepeda

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at Breed Memorial Hall, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

The Russell Lecture on Spiritual Life is the oldest endowed lectureship at Tufts and offers a spiritual perspective on this historical moment. This year we are honored to host Dr. Ofelia Zepeda, 2021 Tufts Honorary Degree recipient and director of the American Indian Language Development Institute at University of Arizona and the Regents' Professor of Linguistics and affiliate faculty in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. She will speak about how language shapes our spiritual worlds and futures, and how poetry contributes to revitalizing Indigenous languages.

Ofelia Zepeda (Tohono O'odham) teaches Tohono O'odham language courses and survey courses on American Indian languages. Her research areas include language variation, language policy, and issues of endangered languages. She has published numerous articles in these areas. She is also author of The Tohono O'odham Grammar and of two books of poetry, much of it written in the O'odham language.  Dr. Zepeda is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship for her work on Indigenous languages. She has served on numerous boards and is currently a trustee of the Tohono O'odham Community College. Dr. Zepeda has been involved in AILDI practically since its inception as an instructor and founding co-director. Her breadth of experience in the field of language revitalization continues to guide the institution.

ASL interpretation will be available at the event.  You can contact University Chaplaincy with any accessibility needs and questions.

Wednesday, March 9, 2023 at Breed Memorial Hall, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Please also join for a workshop on Wednesday, March 8 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with Dr. Zepeda, when she will share how we can learn from poetry, and how it humanizes stories, experiences, and the injustices of our time. You can register for the workshop below. 

James A. Russell Lectureship on Spiritual Life

The Russell Lectureship is the oldest lectureship at Tufts University, established by James Russell of West Cambridge (now Arlington) in 1867. In accordance with the provisions of the donor’s will, each year the university invites a distinguished lecturer to speak on a topic relating to spiritual life. (Source: Miller, Russell E. Light on the Hill: A History of Tufts College 1852-1952. Boston: Beacon Press, 1966.)

Past Russell Lectureship Speakers

2022 - Valarie Kaur, Revolutionary Love In Action

2021 - Reverend Adam Russell Taylor, "The Work Ahead: Building a Just, Beloved Community"

2020 - Lecture not held, due to the coronavirus pandemic

2019 Eboo Patel "Division or Unity: Religious Diversity and the American Promise"

2018 The Reverend Dr. Thandeka "Why Love Beyond Belief Today?"

2017 150th Anniversary – The Reverend Osagyefo Sekou “The Role of the Prophet in a Time of Monsters”

2016  Professor Diana Eck “The Crisis of American Religious Diversity: Excluding or Engaging Difference”

2015  The Reverend Janet Cooper Nelson G72 “Questions without Answers: Education, Worth, and Empathy”

2014 James Carroll “Christianity and Anti-Semitism”

2013 Sister Simone Campbell

2012 Sherman Teichmann, Tufts Institute for Global Leadership

2011 The Reverend Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

2010 Michael Flaherty A90

2009 Professor Elizabeth Prodoromou

2008 The Reverend James W. Skehan

2007 Professor Max L. Stackhouse, “Faith and Globalization”

2006 The Reverend Dr. Gloria White-Hammond, “A Career in Medicine vs. a Ministry of Healing”

2005 Dr. Ingrid Mattson

2004 The Reverend J. Bryan Hehir, “War, Peace and Terror: Defining the Relationship”

2003 The Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, Harvard University (Rededication Ceremony of Goddard Chapel after Renovation)

2002 Archbishop Desmond Tutu

1989-2001 [No record]

1988 Professor George Ursul, Emerson College

1985-1987 [No record]

1984 Professor Brian Smith

1983 Dr. Lamin Sanneh

1982 Dr. Spencer Lavan

1981 [No record]

1980 Professor George Goethals

1979 Dr. George Rupp

1978 The Reverend Dr. Victor Carpenter

1977 The Reverend Dr. Constance Parvey

1976 Dr. J. Robert Nelson

1975 Professor William Jones

1974 [No record]

1973 [Professor Mary Daly scheduled but did not speak]

1972 Roger Hazelton

1971 The Reverend Frederick Buschner

1970 The Rev. Theodore Lockhart

1969 The Rev. Dr. Harvey Cox

1968 100th Anniversary: The Rev. Ralph Norman Helverson, “Theseus and the Minotaur”

1967 Dr. Joseph N. Barth

1966 Dr. C. Conrad Wright, “Piety, Morality, and the Commonwealth”

1965 Dr. Rhys Williams, “The Future of Man”

1964 Dr. Bradford Eugene Gale, “The Religion of Time and the Religion of Eternity”

1963 Dr. Edwon Prince Booth

1962 Dr. Brainard F. Gibbons, “Christian Principles and Business Practices”

1961 Dr. Samuel Howard Miller, “Character and the Sacraments of the Self”

1960 Dr. Albert J. Penner, “Christian Faith and Ethical Decision”

1959 The Right Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr., “The People of God”

1958 Dr. Philip Randall Giles, “The Christian Faith, the Good Man, the World Citizen”

1957 Dr. Roy Messer Pearson, “The Prophetic Voice of the Church”

1956 Dr. Dana McLean Greeley, “Religion Makes the Difference”

1955 Dr. George A. Buttrick, “Beyond Idolatry”

1954 Dr. Henry J. Cadbury, “The Application of Religion to Public Affairs”

1953 James Luther Adams, “Affirmative Religion the Vocation of Citizenship”

1952 Parker McCollester

1951 Herbert Gezork, “The Fate of Religion Under Totalitarianism”

1950 Charles Whitney Gilkey, “Contemporary Religious Trends Among American Students”

1949 Robert H. Pfeiffer, “Is the Gospel Obsolete?”

1948 Harold A. Bosley, “The Nature of Religious Liberalism”

1947 Eugene G. Bewkes, “Reflections on Religion and Ethics”

1946 Clarence Russell Skinner, “Superstition, Reason and Faith”

1945 Bruce W. Brotherston

1944 Julius S. Bixler

1943 William Wallace Rose, “Religion and the Religious”

1942 Frederick M. Eliot

1941 Willard L. Sperry, “The Dilemma of Christianity”

1940 Robert Cummins, “Religious Implications of the Democratic Process”

1939 Rufus Jones

1938 Lee S. McCollester, “Religion, Learning and Men of the Free Spirit”

1937 John Haynes Holmes, “The New Warfare of Science and Religion”

1936 Laurence H. Seelye

1935 Charles E. Park, “Faith with the Mind’s Permission”

1934 Paul D. Moody

1933 Louis C. Cornish

1932 William E. Hocking, “Religion and Philosophy in Occident and Orient”

1931 J.A.C. Fagginger Auer, “A Religion for Today”

1930 Russell Henry Stafford, “The Indispensable Gospel”

1929 F. O. Hall

1928 Harold E.B. Speight, “Gains for Religion in Modern Thought”

1927 J. Edgar Park, “Creation in Literature and Life”

1926 Samuel A. Eliot

1925 Gaius Glann Atkins

1924 Charles R. Brown

1923 Kenyon L. Butterfield

1922 Nehemiah Boynton, “The Importance of Christian Faith and Belief”

1921 S. M. Crothers

1920 J. F. Newton

1919 F. W. Perkins

1918 [No lecture due to wartime conditions]

1917 Francis G. Peabody, “Religion After the War”

1916 Marion D. Shutter, “A Working Theory of Life”

1915 I. M. Atwood

1914 C. R. Henderson

1913 W.H.P. Faunce, “The Sufficiency of the Gospel to Meet the Reasonable Needs of Men Both in Time and Eternity”

1912 John van Schaick

1911 F. O. Hall

1910 C. A. Barney

1909 H. I. Cushman

1908 L. M. Powers

1907 F. W. Perkins

1906 A. W. Grose

1905 F. W. Hamilton

1904 Herbert Ernest Cushman, “What Is Christianity?”

1903 John Vannevar

1902 G. W. Penniman

1901 Vincent H. Tomlinson

1900 D. M. Dodge

1899 H. W. Rugg

1898 W. H. Ryder

1897 W. S. Perkins

1896 J. C. Snow

1895 C. E. Nash

1894 T. E. Busfield

1893 G. L. Demarest

1892 E. E. Hale

1891 J. C. Adams

1890 C. H. Eaton

1889 A. P. Putnam

1888 I. C. Knowlton

1887 C. F. Lee

1886 A. A. Miner

1885 Edward J. Young, “The Sufficiency of Christianity”

1884 W. H. Ryder

1883 A. P. Peabody

1882 Henry Blanchard

1881 J. Smith Dodge

1880 [No record]

1879 [No record]

1878 C. H. Leonard

1877 W. R. Shipman

1876 W. E. Gibbs

1875 A. St. John Chambre

1874 I. M. Atwood

1873 E. C. Bolles

1872 T. J. Sawyer

1871 Thomas Baldwin Thayer, “Christianity Sufficient for the Present and the Future”

1870 Elbridge Gerry Brooks

1869 Ebenezer Fisher

1868 First Lecture: The Reverend Massena Goodrich