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Black and white photo of a man wearing glasses.

Black and white photo of a man wearing glasses.

You Bet Your Life: Finding Meaning, Purpose, and Perhaps, Vocation

James W. Fowler

James W. Fowler, 27 Apr 2003

Fowler explores various approaches to shaping a sense of life's meaning and for shaping a guiding purpose for one's life.

2003 Santa Clara Lecture

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Dr. Fowler's Lecture will explore four approaches to shaping a sense of life's meaning, and for shaping a guiding purpose for one's life.  Using four contemporary films, he will make the case for vocation as finding a purpose for one's life that is part of the purposes of God.

James W. Fowler was named a Candler Professor in 1987. He earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University in Religion and Society in 1971, with a focus in ethics and sociology of religion.  He taught at Harvard Divinity School (1969-75) and at Boston College (1975-76). He pursued post-doctoral studies at the Center for Moral Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (1971-72). In 1977 he joined the faculty of the Candler School of Theology. His pioneering research and the resulting theory of faith development have earned him international recognition. His best known book is Stages of Faith: the Psychology of Development and the Quest for Meaning. He has written or edited eleven other books and more than 60 articles, contributing to the fields of practical theology and theological ethics. 

Since 1994 Fowler has served as the first full-time director of the Center for Ethics in Public Policy and the Professions at Emory.  In the fall of 2000 he began his second term in that position.  He continues to teach frequently in the Candler School of Theology and in the Graduate Division of Religion, and directs the Person, Community and Religious Practices program of the Graduate Division of Religion.  He is a minister in the United Methodist Church. 
He and his wife have two married daughters and three grandchildren.

Apr 27, 2003
Santa Clara Lecture