Dr. Sam Keen to lead February Meetings at MC

Jan. 15, 2010
Contact: Rev. Anne D. McKee, campus minister
865.981.8298; anne.mckee@maryvillecollege.edu

REPLAY FROM WUOT 91.9 – March 09, 2010 Interview:

Afternoon Session at MC:

Evening Session at MC:

Blending insights shared in a forthcoming book and reflections on boyhood days spent in the Maryville College Woods, author, professor and philosopher Dr. Sam Keen will be the speaker for the 2010 February Meetings at Maryville College, scheduled for Feb. 23.

Held in the recital hall of the newly-constructed Clayton Center for the Arts, Keen’s talks will focus on the theme “Fragments of a Future Religion.” His 1 p.m. address is entitled “Beyond Fundamentalism and Atheism.” At 7 p.m., he will speak about “Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred.” The meetings are free and open to the public.

“For many years, Sam Keen has helped people see how aspects of ordinary life – relationships with other people and with nature – are windows to our relationship with God,” said the Rev. Anne D. McKee, campus minister at Maryville College and one of the organizers of February Meetings. “I was surprised and delighted to discover that he has roots in Maryville and that much of his spirituality was shaped by experiences in our College Woods. It is a privilege and honor to have him share those stories and his new work with us.”

Keen earned a bachelor’s degree from Ursinus College and a master of theology degree from Harvard Divinity School. He completed a master’s degree and doctoral degree at Princeton University.

As a professor of philosophy and religion, he has taught at numerous institutions, including Boston University and Princeton Seminary. He has conducted workshops at more than 200 universities, institutes, corporations and clinics.

Keen served as a contributing editor for Psychology Today magazine for 20 years and currently contributes to Spirituality and Health magazine. He was also co-producer of an award-winning PBS documentary “Faces of the Enemy,” which was the subject of PBS special “Bill Moyers – Your Mythic Journey with Sam Keen.”

He is known for many of his books, including Hymn to an Unknown God, Fire in the Belly and Sightings: Extraordinary Encounters with Ordinary Birds, which includes a collection of essays about birds he encountered growing up in Maryville and spending countless hours in the College Woods. Keen’s grandmother, Kathryn McMurray, managed the College Maid Shop from 1921 until it closed in the mid-1940s.

The author will be signing Sightings and his pre-publication book, The Absence of God: Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred at the meetings.

Held annually at the College since 1877, February Meetings have offered the College and local community an opportunity to come together to consider questions of faith and responsible living in the world. In years past, guest speakers and special music have been highlights of the condensed lecture series, which is open to all members of the community and visitors, including the College’s Board of Church Visitors.

For more information about February Meetings, contact McKee at 865.981.8298 or anne.mckee@maryvillecollege.edu.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester is 1,168.