The Merrick Lecture was founded by Frederick Merrick, Professor and Second President of Ohio Wesleyan University. They are in the area of “experimental and practical religion.” It constitutes the oldest running series at the University.

Each year the Merrick Lecture Series brings to campus a renowned scholar of religion or philosophy for talks and for one-on-one discussion with students. In the past decade, speakers have included Gene Outka, Michael Novak, and James Charlesworth. Through additional University programs, prominent lecturers from France, Yugoslavia, and the United States have also visited our campus. Also, various lecture series at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio provide opportunities to hear eminent theologians.

Latest Lecture

2020-2021 Sagan National Colloquium: Dr. Miroslav Volf
7-8 p.m. on March 25, 2021

Dr. Miroslav Volf, the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and the author and editor of over 20 books and 100 scholarly articles, will explore what kinds of lives are worthy of our humanity in his lecture. We are deeply attracted to the idea of lives worthy of our humanity yet find it difficult to pursue such a life. We spend most of our lives working, in the broad sense of the term, to acquire various means for life without having a clear sense to what end these means should be used. He imagines the lecture as an invitation to pursue a life worth living — and to find meaning in our work by aligning it with the pursuit of a life worthy of our humanity.

More Information

Past Lectures

  • 2019
    • Vasudha Narayanan
      ”Who Owns a Story? Global Religions and Cultural Territoriality”
  • 2018
    • Carol Newsom
      “Hope in a Time of Climate Change: A Conversation between the Bible and Science”
  • 2017
    • Paul C.H. Lim
      “Global Christianity and War on Human Trafficking: Snapshots from America, India, and Korea”
  • 2015
    • Christiane Gruber
      “Prophetic Products: The Prophet Muhammad in Contemporary Iranian Visual Culture”
    • Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
      “An Uncommon Faith: Pragmatism and Religion”
  • 2013
    • Robin Jensen
      “Ritual Spaces and Holy Places: The Archaeological Evidence for Ancient African Christianity”
  • 2012
    • Laura Lieber
      “Tragedy Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight: Scriptural Drama and Biblical Playfulness in Antiquity”
  • 2011
    • Lori Meeks
      “‘Talking Past’ Androcentric Religious Discourse: Gender, Agency, and Ideology in Medieval Japanese Buddhism”
  • 2010
    • David Frankfurter
      “Exorcising the World: New Perspectives on Christianization and Culture”
  • 2009
    • Daniel T. Spencer
      “The Greening of Religion: Religions’ [Re]Encounter with the Earth and Its Distress”
  • 2008
    • Jason C. Bivins
      “Like Beating the Dog”: Religion, Fear and American Democracy”
  • 2006
    • Yvonne Haddad
      “What Kind of Islam will America Tolerate?”
      (October 12, 2005, co-sponsored with Sagan National Colloquium)
  • 2005
    • Dr. Franklin H. Littell
      “Religion in the Pressure Cooker: Christianity and Judaism under Soviet and Nazi Rule”
  • 2004
    • Al Staggs
      “A View from the Underside”
      (November 8, 2003, co-sponsored with the Theatre Department)
  • 2003
    • Professor Aloysius M. Lugira
      “Christianity in Our Time: The Meaning and Significance of Voluntary Celibacy Today”
  • 2002
    • Charles Kimball
      “When Religion Becomes Evil”
  • 2001
    • Carol Adams
      “The Pedagogy of Grief” (Lecture)
      “The Sexual Politics of Meat” (Slide Show)
  • 2000
    • Miriam Therese Winter
      “The Singer and the Song”

View the Full List of Merrick Lectures.


Department Contact Info


Phillips Hall 114 and 117
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3790

Department Contact

Acting Chair: Erin Flynn
Professor of Philosophy & Religion
Phillips Hall 114