Steel Center

Steel Center Lectures and Special Events

Previous Events 2017-2018

Tuesday, September 19th                 

7pm in the Mills Center, Room A

Faith in Black and White: The Church and Race in ‘Colorblind’ America – The Bible in Black and White

Featuring – Guest Speaker, Dr. Nyasha Junior – author and Biblical Scholar. This is a public speaker event to explore the systems of racial injustice in contemporary American culture and the role of the Church in creating a more racially just society. The event is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow in the Mills Center Library.

Pictures of the event can be seen here.

Wednesday Afternoon Discussion

September 20th, 3:30pm to 4:30pm in the RaPC

No Crystal Stair: Becoming a Black Woman Biblical Scholar

Guest speaker – Dr. Nyasha Junior, author and Biblical Scholar. Dr. Junior will discuss her intellectual journey and the challenges along the way. Open to the public. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Pictures of the event can be seen here.

Thursday, September 21st                                                                       

8 to 9 pm in the Brick Pit

Peace Vigil and Dedication an Arkansas Peace Week Event

Guest speakers include: Sophia Said, Director and Interfaith Leader of the Madina Institute of Little Rock. Reverend and Dr. Denise Donnell, Director of Just Communities of Arkansas. Tyler Pearson, of Compassion Works for All. Event includes a candlelight vigil and signing of the peace manifesto. This event is open to the public.

Previous Events 2015-2016

Steel Center Film Screening & Friday Afternoon Discussion

A film screening of "If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" will be held in the RaPC at 4 pm on Thursday, December 1st. A Friday Afternoon Discussion will follow on Friday, Dec. 2nd from 3:30 to 4:30 in the RaPC. The discussion will cover whether or not environmental disobedience is ever justified and will be presented by the Philosophy Dept. seniors and facilitated by Dr. James Dow. The film screening and discussion are open to everyone.  

Dare to imagine

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”  So writes Arundhati Roy, Indian novelist and author of The God of Small Things.  Another world becomes possible through acts of social imagination. 

From October 10-18, 2015, people throughout the United States, influenced by hopes for the common good of the world, are creating Imagination Stations in public spaces nationwide.  One of them will be on the brick patio at Hendrix on October 12-14.  It is sponsored by the Hendrix Murphy Foundation, The Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy, Fat Soul International, and the “Art and Spirit” course of The Engaged Citizen initiative.  With chalk provided by the Hendrix Murphy Foundation, members of the Hendrix community (students, staff, and faculty) can write their own haiku and short poems, or draw images if they prefer, envisioning the world they wish to inhabit and—looking back from the future—celebrating the work  that helped bring it into existence. The entire process will be videotaped through time-lapse photography. The resulting texts, images, videos, and more will be uploaded to an online platform, yielding a crowd-sourced vision of the future, inspiring art, policy, and community action.

31st Annual Steel – Hendrix Awards Banquet

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Banquet and Awards at 5:30 p.m. 
Worsham Performance Hall

Please join us to celebrate these individuals who have made significant contributions in the areas of religious education, social awareness, and youth service.

  • Anthony Falkowski  – The Ethel K. Millar Award for Religion and Social Awareness
  • DrBrooks Holifield – The Mary and Ira A. Brumley Award for Religion Education
  • Lori Fallon  – The Hendrix College Youth Director of the Year

(Tickets are $20 until February 19 $25 after that date w/ deadline of March 4, contact  or call 501-450-1263)

Followed By: Wilson Lecture at 7 P.M.

Hope in a Time of Climate Change: A Dialogue Between the Bible and Science

Presented by:  Dr. Carol Newsom of Emory University

Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament and Past President of the Society of Biblical Literature 

Carol Newsom

Religious language: How “different” is it from everyday language and why?

Thursday, April 7, 2016 


7pm Mills B followed by a reception in the Mills Library

Presented by guest speaker Dr. Eve Sweetser Professor of Linguistics, University of California – Berkeley

It is rather a standing trope of the discourse about religious language that it is special.  This is often said to be due to the ineffable nature of religious experience, simply beyond the capacity of language to express.  And yet – we keep on using language to express it.  Indeed, we keep on using the same kinds of language (many of the same metaphors, for example) which are part of our everyday grammatical repertory.  This talk will explore some of these structures, and discuss some of the reasons why this should be so. 

*The event is free and open to the public.

Campus Map 

Farewell to the Raney Building 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Reception 11 a.m. to noon 
Raney building lobby

We will bid farewell to Mary Richardson, Instructor of Speech at Hendrix since 1979; Stephen Kerr ’76, Virginia A. McCormick Pittman Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business, who has taught at Hendrix since 1979; and to the Raney building itself that will make way for the future Dawkins Welcome Center. If you cannot join us, please send your warm wishes to Mary and Stephen in care of the Office of Alumni and Constituent Engagement and we will deliver them.

Farewell Raney 

“Tibetan Sang Chö (Incense Offering) Ritual”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Presented by Geshe Shenpen Samdrup and Dr. Gorvine


This traditional smoke or incense offering ceremony traces its roots to the indigenous Bön tradition of Tibet, which preceded the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet. It uses a variety of fragrant plants (such as juniper/cedar, sage, and other aromatics) as offerings to sanctify a given space and to restore one’s relationship with the physical and spiritual environment, purifying impurities and pollution in the process. This popular ritual as currently performed by laity and monastics integrates the practical, life-affirming concerns of Tibetans with the wisdom-teachings and compassionate-activities of enlightened beings (or Buddhas). It is believed that by participating in the offering, one may enhance one’s health, vitality and wellness, wish the same for others, and enjoy integrating with a broader, sacred world. Doing so may also help with final exams and projects! This particular performance will be conducted by Geshé Shenphen Samdrup, a Tibetan monk, scholar and spiritual teacher from Menri monastery in northern India, and all are welcome to join in! 

“Calming the Mind, Engaging the Heart: A Guided Meditation in the Tibetan Tradition” 

Thursday April 28, 2016


Mills Library at 4:10 p.m.
Presented by  Geshe Shenpen Samdrup and Dr. Gorvine 

Come meet Geshé Shenpen Samdup, a monk, scholar, and spiritual teacher in the Tibetan Bön religious lineage who was born in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and comes to us from Menri monastery in northern India. Drawing from his many years of study and practice, along with his experience working with students from around the world, Geshé Samdup will share insights and invite participants to get an experiential appreciation for how Tibetan practitioners understand and undertake meditation practice, and how these approaches might be of value to a variety of interested people.   

Falls Corbitt

Dr. Peg Falls-Corbitt Philosophy Professor to Receive Distinguished Professorship

September 1st, 11:10 a.m.

Hendrix College will formally install Dr. Peg Falls-Corbitt as the Virginia A. McCormick Pittman Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at a special ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 11:10 a.m., in Reves Recital Hall in the Trieschmann Fine Arts Building. Guests from the community are welcome to attend.

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“Chanting, Contemplation and Inspiration: An Experiential Journey with the Nechung Oracle, Advisor to the Dalai Lama”

Saturday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m.

Reves Recital Hall in Trieschmann Fine Arts Building

The event will feature a presentation by the State Oracle of Tibet, the Venerable Thubten Ngodup, who will be accompanied by Lama Tenzin Choegyal and seven monks from Nechung Monastery. 
In this special event, Lama Tenzin Choegyal will offer a brief introduction to guests and to the chants they will offer, and he will facilitate an introduction by the Venerable Thubten Ngodup (Kunten-la) to Tibetan contemplative practice. 
Following this, attendees are invited to participate in a wide-ranging question and answer session. 

The program is co-sponsored by the Marshall T. Steel Center, the Interdisciplinary Program in Asian Studies, and the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling. 

For more information, contact Hendrix religious studies professor Dr. Bill Gorvine at or 501-450-3820.

Epistemic Injustice and the Child Presented by Dr. Deborah Tollefsen

November 10, 2016

Mills B at 7pm Followed by Reception in Mills Library

    In Epistemic Injustice (2007) Miranda Fricker argues that there is a distinct type of harm done to those who are discredited due to prejudicial stereotypes. This harm is distinctively epistemic in nature as it prevents a person from participating in the knowledge production practices of a community and deprives a subject of full epistemic status. The examples that Fricker focuses on are those involving race and gender. The woman who is given less credibility in the boardroom when she speaks, for instance, because of prejudicial stereotypes about women, suffers not just a moral injustice, but an epistemic one. Dialogue with others—dialogue across difference—is possible only if we acknowledge the phenomenon of epistemic injustice and work to ameliorate it. In this talk, I raise the question of whether children, as a class, are subject to epistemic injustice. I argue that they are and that this is not only detrimental to the child but to the adult's ability to understand and gain knowledge of the world.

- Dr. Deborah Tollefsen

This event will include a Q&A time at the end of Dr. Tollefsen's talk. A reception in the Mills Library will follow. This event is open to the public. 

Dr. Tollefsen will also lead the  Steel Center's Friday Afternoon Discussion - Shaping the Group Mind - Friday November 11 at 3:30 in the Religion and Philosophy Commons (RaPC)