Tanner Talk to Address the Underpinnings of Our Modern World
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014
A series of cross-disciplinary talks continues on Feb. 7 at Utah State University with the fourth “Tanner Talk” on how the religious upheavals in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries led to fundamental changes in social thinking that helped build modern social structures and institutions.
“Sometimes by looking at some remote historical period we can get a fresher look at our contemporary society,” said event organizer Charlie Huenemann, associate dean in USU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “By looking through this lens we can understand that many of the forces at work during these historical moments still act on us today.”
USU College of Humanities and Social Sciences graduate Brad S. Gregory is the guest speaker. He is a professor of history and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also the director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.
Gregory will speak from noon to 1 p.m. in the USU Merrill-Cazier Library, Room 101. The event is free and open to the public.
“Brad is the most distinguished scholar to have ever graduated from this college,” said history professor Len Rosenband who taught Gregory during his time at USU and has closely followed his student’s career. “He is a historian and philosopher who understands that the dilemmas, choices and issues of the past have enduring power. They enable us to think more clearly and in a more informed way about our own issues. He’s a brilliant speaker and he has a wonderful sense of humor. We’re very excited for his lecture.”
Gregory’s stellar academic career started at Utah State, where he was the HASS Valedictorian and University Scholar of the Year in 1985. From 1996-2003, he taught at Stanford University, where he received early tenure in 2001. Before teaching at Stanford, he earned his doctorate in history at Princeton University (1996) and was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1994-96.
He also has two degrees in philosophy, both earned at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He specializes in the history of Christianity in Europe during the Reformation era and the long-term influences of the Reformation era on the modern Western world.
Gregory has given invited lectures at many of the most prestigious universities in North America, as well as in England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Israel and Taiwan. His first book, Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (Harvard University Press, 1999) received six book awards. In 2005, he was named the winner of the first Hiett Prize in the Humanities from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, a $50,000 award given to the outstanding mid-career humanities scholar in the United States.
The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Belknap Press, 2012) is his most recent book, winner of the Henry and Anne Paolucci Award from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the inaugural Aldersgate Prize from Indiana Wesleyan University. Gregory is also a standout teacher, having received two teaching awards at Stanford and three more at Notre Dame.
The 2013–14 Tanner Talks, a series of cross-disciplinary events focusing on the theme “Knowledge and Community,” are a presentation of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The complete schedule for the Tanner Talks, including a brief summary of each presentation, is online.