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Kenan Center to present Lauren Winner, author and lecturer on Christian spirituality


Tue, Sep 8th 2015 03:30 pm

The Kenan Center and First Presbyterian Church of Lockport present a talk by author, lecturer and professor of Christian spirituality Lauren Winner at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in the Kenan Center Taylor Theater, 433 Locust St., Lockport.

Publishers Weekly has called Winner: "A writer of spiritual substance and grace-filled style." Richard Rohr, a member of the Franciscan order, and one of the most widely recognized authors of books on contemporary spirituality, said Winner "opens up Scripture in ways that are loyal to the Great Tradition and yet readable, faith-filled and applicable to the world we actually live in."

Winner is the author of the bestselling autobiographical memoir, "Girl Meets God" (2004), written in her 20s about her conversion from Orthodox Judaism to Anglican Christianity. Winner's breakthrough book has been described as "cliché-less," "winsome and insightful" and "unusually challenging and satisfying." It established her as one of the young voices in Christian writing.

She went on to write "Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity" (2006), "Mudhouse Sabbath" (2007), "Still: Notes on a Mid-faith Crisis" (2013) and "Wearing God." (2015)

A former book editor for Beliefnet, Winner has appeared on PBS's "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" and has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Publishers Weekly and Christianity Today. Her essays have been included in "The Best Christian Writing 2000" and "The Best Christian Writing 2002."

In addition to her writing, Winner holds degrees from Duke, Columbia and Cambridge universities, and a Ph.D. in history. She is currently an assistant professor of Christian spiritualty at Duke Divinity School (North Carolina). She travels extensively to lecture and teach. During the academic year of 2007-08, Winner was a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, and during the academic year of 2010-11, she was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. She was recently ordained a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

The Kenan Center and First Presbyterian Church jointly launched the speaker series in 2013 as a way to bring thoughtful discourse to the campus on wide-ranging topics related to religion and faith. The center and church see the introduction of the speaker series as a way to engage the community in conversations with noted educators, writers and faith leaders on issues of contemporary concern, taking the Chautauqua Institution as a model.

Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students (high school or college) with ID. Advance purchase is highly recommended, as seats are limited to 150. Tickets may be purchased at the Kenan Center Business Office, 433 Locust St., from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or by calling 716-433-2617 to charge by phone. Tickets will also be available at the First Presbyterian Church of Lockport, 21 Church St.

A reception in the Kenan House will follow at 5 p.m. A limited number of Winner's books will be for sale. Winner also will preach the sermon at the First Presbyterian Church at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 27. A coffee hour reception will follow.

A discussion of Winner's book, "Girl Meets God," will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, at the Lockport Public Library. All are welcome.

Winner's program is the second in the Kenan speaker series with funding from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.

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