2023-2024 EPE Lectures

The Castle Lecture Series
Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science, MIT
“Attention, Shoppers!  American Retail Capitalism and the Origins of the Amazon Economy”
November 6, 2023, 4-5:30
77 Prospect Street, Room A002

The Robert H. Litowitz Lecture Series
April 24, 2024, 12:30
Humanities Quadrangle, Room 276

“The future of democracy”
In 2024 there will be a very high number of elections worldwide. Many of these elections will be a stress-test for democracy, particularly in countries where authoritarian and populist politicians are trying to gain/consolidate power. This timely roundtable will spur a robust conversation about the state of representative democracy and its future. Speakers are leaders in their field, who have advanced our understanding of the challenges facing democracies and have proposed innovative solutions to enhance democratic societies across multiple contexts.  

The roundtable participants are the following:

Nicole Curato

Helene Landemore

Kevin Elliott


The Castle Lecture Series

Each year the Dean of Yale College appoints a Castle Lecturer in Ethics, Politics and Economics to deliver a series of lectures to promote awareness of and sensitivity to ethical issues facing individuals in complex modern societies. Intended to foster interdisciplinary reflection on the moral foundations of society and government, the lectures were endowed by Mr. John K. Castle to honor his ancestor the Reverend James Pierpont, one of the University’s original founders.  Yale University Press co-sponsors the lectures and publishes each set of lectures as a book.

Past Castle Lecturers include

The Robert H. Litowitz Lectures

The Litowitz Fund sponsors teaching in the major as well as the Litowitz Lecturer, who is appointed each year to speak to EP&E faculty and students on ethical and religious dimensions of social policy.

Past Litowitz Lecturers include

  • Mariko Hirose - “Our Moral and Legal Obligations to Displaced People”
  • William Mazzarella - “Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!”
  • Wayne Hsiung  - “Reversing Extinction:  Why Climate Justice Needs Animal Rights”
  • David Auerbach  - “Building Clean Cities for Everyone, Everywhere”
  • Nathaniel Keohane  - “Turning the Corner to Climate Safety:  The Economics - and Politcs - of Solving the Climate Crisis”
  • Ben Wizner  - “The Peculiar Politics of National Security”
  • Branko Milanovic - “Recent Trends in Global Income Distribution and their Political Implications”
  • Lisa Guenther - “Lethal Injection and its Discontents”
  • Nathan Brown - “Popular Sovereignty and Religious Peoples in the Arab World”
  • Joost Hiltermann - “From Sunni-Shia Coexistence to a Mideast Sectarian War?”
  • Christopher Caldwell - “Money, Migration, and the European Crisis”
  • Litowitz Roundtable - Islamic Law and Political Reform in Iran
  •     Abdolkarim Soroush, Mehrangiz Kar, Abbas Amanat, Andrew March
  • Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im - “ ‘Islam and the Secular State’ is a Framework for Constant Contestation, Not a Claim of  Categorical Resolution”
  • John DiIulio - “Obama’s Faith-Based Initiative: Is it Needed and Will it Survive?”
  • Benjamin Barber - “Can Islam Accommodate Democracy? Can Democracy Accommodate Islam?”
  • Richard Bernstein - “Democratic Hope”
  • Norman Birnbaum - “Apocalypse and the Modern American Imagination”
  • Avishai Margalit - “Human Dignity: Between Kitsch and Deification”
  • Elaine Pagels - “Revisioning Christianity: The Discovery of the Secret Gospel of Thomas”
  • Bhikhu Parekh - “Can We Reason with Fundamentalists?”
  • Rev. William Sloane Coffin - “God and the World’s Disorders”
  • David Tracy - “God, The Open and the Void: Ethical and Political Implications”
  • Kent Greenawalt - “Religious Convictions and Political Discourse”
  • George Fletcher - “In God’s Image: The Religious Roots of Equality Under Law”
  • Michael Perry - “Liberal Democracy and Religious Morality”
  • Judge John T. Noonan - “Crusades: The American Experience of Religious Freedom”