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Announcing the 2014 Laing Lectures

August 05, 2014
“This is not the stability of a flourishing, resilient society. It’s the peace of a decadent one.”

Regent College is pleased to announce that the speaker for the 2014 Laing Lectures will be New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. Douthat will deliver a series of three lectures on the topic Settling in to a Decadent Decline on October 22 and 23, 2014 at Regent College.

Five years ago, our civilization experienced a massive economic crisis, but our current political, intellectual, and social climate has changed much less than one might expect. Douthat states, “This is not the stability of a flourishing, resilient society. It’s the peace of a decadent one.” His lectures will look ahead to the next 50-100 years and discuss why a kind of "sustainable decadence" is what our twenty-first century can expect. Join Ross Douthat at the 2014 Laing Lectures to learn what decadence means, why it’s so dangerous, and how we might escape it.

Find out more here.

About the Speaker

Ross Douthat joined the New York Times as an Op-Ed columnist in April 2009. Previously, he was a senior editor at the Atlantic and a blogger for His most recent book is Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Free Press, 2012). He is also the author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (Hyperion, 2005) and the co-author, with Reihan Salam, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (Doubleday, 2008). He is the film critic for National Review. A native of New Haven, Conneticut, he now lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two daughters.

About the Laing Lectures

The Laing Lectures began at Regent College in 1999 in cooperation with Roger and Carol Laing and in honour of their father, William John Laing. The purpose of the lectures is to encourage persons recognized for scholarship, wisdom, and creativity to undertake serious thought and original writing on an issue of significance for the Christian church and to promote the sharing of such thoughts through a series of public lectures. The material presented by Laing lecturers is intended to move beyond an analysis of historic and current concerns to provide proposals for alternative action for the Christian church. In doing so, lecturers will be invited to explore in an interdisciplinary way the relationship between Christianity and culture, and to suggest ways in which that relationship might lead to greater flourishing of the church, the larger human household, and the whole community of creation.

Past Laing lecturers: Neil Postman (2000), Charles Taylor (2001), Peter Berger (2002), Margaret Visser (2004), Miroslav Volf (2006), Nicholas Wolterstorff (2007), Walter Brueggemann (2008), Susan Wise Bauer (2010), Albert Borgmann (2011), Rex Murphy (2012), and Ellen Charry (2013-2014).

Past Laing Lectures audio is available at

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