Westminster Seminars

Event details

  • Sunday | June 11, 2023
  • 09:45 AM -
  • Galbreath Chapel and via Zoom
  • 412-835-6630

The Westminster Seminars offer a dynamic schedule of topics to help us live more fully as thoughtful Christians in today’s world. Everyone is always welcome. Come when you can – no preparation or homework. The Zoom option makes it extra easy to catch a seminar if you aren’t at church. Each Sunday, the Zoom meeting opens at 9:30.

Also, you can watch or listen later on the Westminster website – under News & Media – here: https://www.westminster-church.org/news-&-media/westminster-seminars.

Join Zoom Meeting
The Zoom meeting opens at 9:30.
Meeting ID: 867 5311 4914
Passcode: 209681

Polarization & the Unmaking of America

June 11, 18, 25
Derek Woodard-Lehman, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Ours is an era of unprecedented interconnection. We search for information on a worldwide web. We share opinions on social media. We speak by phone and videoconference across the globe. Yet, even as these connections grow wider and wider, our virtual and actual circles grow smaller and smaller. We tend to associate with those who look like us. We gravitate toward reading, watching, and listening to those who think like us. We default to an “Us vs. Them” attitude that results in acute polarization in church and society. While we know more and more about our world, at the very same time, we know less and less about those who experience and understand that world differently than we do.

This three-part series will explore dynamics of polarization in American life, with particular attention to identity polarization. It will examine the causes and effects of polarization, especially in relation to social media. And it will engage in theological reflection in response to polarization, specifically how Christians can be good citizens, good neighbors, and good witnesses in these troubled times.

June 11 – A House Divided Against Itself: Understanding Polarization

June 18 – Social Media and Social Conflict: Decelerating Polarization

June 25 – Faith & the Politics of Everyday Life: Responding to Polarization

Derek Woodard-Lehman is Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His research and teaching ask how the theological question “How shall we live as Christians?” informs and transforms the political question “How shall we live with other citizens?” in increasingly pluralistic and polarized communities. He is especially interested in how Christian commitments mobilize political resistance to injustice in cases like the American Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1970s), the German Church Struggle (1930s), the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement (1970s-1990s), and the Movements for Black Lives.