Chicago Humanities Festival

Chicago Humanities Festival Belief theme graphic

Save the Date!

October 28, 2017
Morris and Dolores Kohl Kaplan Northwestern Day
of the Chicago Humanities Festival

Join us to kick off the Chicago Humanities Festival FallFest/17: BELIEF with a full day of programming on Northwestern's Evanston campus!

What do we mean by “Belief?"
Faith in the divine, commitment to a cause, conviction about the truth, trust in our institutions?

However we understand the idea, issues of belief have never been more in flux. In some parts of the world, religious observance is up, while in others it is tanking. Geopolitical conflict is increasingly cast in theological terms. Many younger Americans write “none” when asked their religion, yet avidly seek spiritual fulfillment. Memoir after memoir tells a story about losing faith in older traditions, or finding security in new ones.

Trust in our institutions has eroded almost across the board over the past decade. A mere 9% of Americans currently report a “great deal” of confidence in Congress. And the media, banks, and business world do not fare much better. Belief is also, after all, a matter of trust: can we trust our media? Our economy? Our police? Our scientists? Our government?

And belief is a state of mind, even a set of feelings—a firmness of conviction, a posture toward the world. Perhaps it is worth asking: what kind of future do we believe in?

The full line-up of speakers will be announced in September.