The Hartley Film Foundation is proud to present some of the most visionary and spiritual speakers of our time:
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) was arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day. He was Fellow and Tutor in English literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. His major contributions in literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature and popular theology brought him international renown and acclaim.
Dr. Eck delights in America as the most religiously diverse nation in the world, and has a profound understanding of the complex challenges such diversity presents. Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, Dr. Eck also directs the Pluralism Project at Harvard, which documents the growing presence of the Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Zoroastrian communities in the U.S.
Cistercian priest, monk and abbot Father Thomas Keating meditates on a practice he calls "centering prayer." The goal of centering prayer is to let go of self-interest and to surrender to God, and Father Keating serves as a luminous example of one who has committed his life to this discipline.
The Dalai Lama speaks in English for most of the six-hour lecture on the Four Noble Truths, the first sermon given by Buddha following his enlightenment. As the Dalai Lama delves into the finer points of Tibetan philosophy, he turns to his native language and speaks through a translator. His intellect and scholarship shine as he refers often to Buddhist scriptures and commentaries and his mischievous sense of humor and inspiring compassion are very much in evidence.
Founder and Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, which is dedicated to the enhancement of relations between the Muslim world and the U.S., Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf argues that Islamic principles support the fundemental values of a pluralistic, democratic society. He teaches Islam and Sufism and is founder of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which cultivates and supports Islamic Art and Culture. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Interfaith Center of New York.