Tag: Christianity

Interfaith panel to explore themes in the film “Easter Mysteries”

John O'Boyle
John O’Boyle

The Easter narrative will be explored through a screening of the 2016 musical feature film “Easter Mysteries” followed by an interfaith panel discussion Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. in Lawrence University’s Warch Campus Center cinema. The event is free and open to the public.

John O’Boyle, a 1969 Lawrence graduate, will introduce the film, for which he was the lead producer. He also wrote the music, libretto and lyrics for the film. Featuring a culturally diverse cast of talented roadway veterans who have appeared in such hits as “Les Miserables,” “Porgy and Bess” “Phantom of the Opera” among others, “Easter Mysteries” is the first depiction of Christ’s death and resurrection told through the eyes of the disciple Peter.

The film shines new light on the Biblical story of Jesus Christ in human terms: ordinary people with hopes, dreams and fears, uncertain of what lies ahead, but in following his journey to the cross and eventual resurrection, they learn the valuable lesson of love.

O’Boyle is a two-time Tony Award-winning producer of a host of Broadway plays. He earned won Tony Awards for “La Cage aux Folles” in 2010 and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” in 2013.

He also has produced Broadway productions of August Wilson’s “Radio Golf,” Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?,” “A Catered Affair,”“Glory Days,” “Elling,” and “It Shoulda Been You” and a stage production of “Marguerite” in London.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in theatre at Lawrence, O’Boyle earned a master of fine arts degree in direction from Catholic University.

Rev. Mike Goodwin
Rev. Mike Goodwin
Jerry Zabronsky
Jerry Zabronsky
Elliot Ratzman
Elliot Ratzman

Following the film, Linda Morgan-Clement, Julie Esch Hurvis Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life, will moderate a panel discussion focused on the film’s intent to tell the Easter narrative in a way that removes some of the historically anti-Semitic overtones while inviting Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Joining Morgan-Clement on the panel will be Rev. Mike Goodwin of Appleton’s Memorial Presbyterian Church; Jerry Zabronsky, president of Appleton’s Moses Montefiore Synagogue; Elliot Ratzman, postdoctoral fellow of Jewish studies in Lawrence’s religious studies department; Lawrence senior Ellen Jacobson and junior Rebecca Bernheimer.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.


Minister-Turned-Atheist Discusses Journey to Deconversion in Lawrence University Address

A former minister and Protestant missionary who publicly announced his atheism nine years after his ordination discusses his journey to deconversion and offers a critical analysis of Christianity in an address at Lawrence University.

Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, presents “Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist” Wednesday, May 17 at 8 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The presentation is based on Barker’s 1992 autobiographical book of the same name. His began his ministry as a 15-year old evangelist and he was ordained in 1975. Barker went on to serve as an associate pastor at three different churches and later spent two years in Mexico as a Protestant missionary.

An accomplished pianist, arranger, songwriter and long-time record producer for popular Christian singer Manuel Bonilla, Barker maintained his own touring musical ministry for 17 years. But in 1984, after five years of soul-searching, Barker “lost faith in faith” and openly declared his atheism. He joined the staff of the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation in 1987 and was elected the organization’s co-president in 2004.

Barker has been a frequent talk-show guest, having appeared on “Good Morning, America,” “Oprah” and “Hannity and Colmes,” among others, and speaks regularly at Freethought concerts around the country. In additional to “Losing Faith in Faith,” he has written four other books, including “Just Pretend: A Freethought Book For Children” and “Maybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide For Young Skeptics.”

Barker’s appearance is sponsored by the student organization LU Forum for Freethought, which promotes critical discussions of contemporary religion, superstition and pseudoscience and their place in and effects on society from scientific, philosophical, historical and governmental perspectives.