Teach us to number our days: Reconciling the finite with the infinite
How can the infinite inform our finite lives? Being established in the academy requires an often obsessive focus on making a name for ourselves. This can absorb our lives and leave us worn out, anxious and empty. The scriptures charge us to number our days and exercise a kind of wisdom informed by our finitude, leading to a fuller experience of life and purpose as we depend on the One who will “establish the work of our hands”(Ps. 90).
Join with Christian faculty from around the region as Columbia Physician and Ethicist, Dr. Lydia Dugdale and Yale Architect Dr. Kyle Dugdale help us reconsider death with the wisdom from the scriptures that can transform how we live each day, particularly in our calling as faculty to love our university.
Lydia Dugdale MD, MAR (ethics), is associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at Columbia University. Prior to her 2019 move to Columbia, she was associate director of the Program for Biomedical Ethics and founding co-director of the Program for Medicine, Spirituality, and Religion at Yale School of Medicine. She is an internal medicine primary care doctor and medical ethicist. She is in the process of publishing The Lost Art of Dying (HarperOne, July 2020), and published its theoretical grounding in an earlier edited volume, Dying in the Twenty-First Century (MIT Press, 2015).
Kyle Dugdale is an architect, historian, and theorist. He holds degrees from Oxford, Harvard, and Yale, where he was awarded the Field Prize for his dissertation “Architecture After the Death of God.” He teaches architectural history, theory, and design at Columbia and at Yale. His first book, Babel’s Present, was published in 2016. He maintains a special interest in architecture’s claims to metaphysical significance, with a particular curiosity for architecture as a recurring figure in biblical narratives. He works on the Tower of Babel—particularly its appropriations in the years leading up to World War II—and, more broadly, on architectural monuments as markers of identity, aspiration, and belief.
Bible Study Leaders
Jeff Barneson is a senior campus staff with the Graduate and Faculty Ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and a member of the Harvard Chaplains. Since 1983, he has been an advisor and friend to graduate students and faculty throughout the University. As part of that community, he continues to read the Gospels and seek God’s justice and mercy for the campus and our world.
Graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering, he felt God’s call to the campus, which took him from the palm trees of Stanford University to the frigid winters of Cambridge, MA. Along the way, he completed an MTh at Denver Seminary and an MC/MPA at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. For several years, he served as a teaching fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
An avid cyclist, Jeff rides his bike several thousand miles a year and still races whenever he can. He keeps bees, grows coffee and is, bit-by-bit, learning to play the pedal steel guitar. Jeff lives with his wife, Tara, two boys, Zach and Ezra, and dog, Hazel in Cambridgeport. They worship, learn and serve as part of Pentecostal Tabernacle.
Arthur C. Brooks
is Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Arthur C. Patterson Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Business School. Before joining the Harvard faculty in July of 2019, he served for ten years as president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of the world’s leading think tanks. Brooks is the author of 11 books, including the national bestsellers “Love Your Enemies” (2019), “The Conservative Heart” (2015), and “The Road to Freedom” (2012). He is also a columnist for The Atlantic, host of the podcast “The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks,” and subject of the 2019 documentary film “The Pursuit,” now available on Netflix. Originally from Seattle, Brooks currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife Ester Munt-Brooks, who is a native of Barcelona. They have three children, Joaquim, Carlos, and Marina.
Banner photo credit of Misquamicut Birds: Flow via flickr