I've always appreciated a good academic or theological lecture. (If a speaker interrupts his discourse by saying, "Now, please turn to your neighbor and discuss for ten minutes...," that's a good time for a coffee break; I've come to hear the professor -- what can Mrs. McGillicuddey possibly add?) I have recently discovered that a number of my favorite books have their origins as lecture series. The most recent is Terry Eagleton's "Reason, Faith, and Revolution" (the 2008 Yale Terry Lectures -- nothing to do with the author's first name, a coincidence he has some fun with in his introductory remarks). Others are P.T. Forsyth's "The Work of Christ" (Norfolk Lectures, 1909), Alfred North Whitehead's, "Science and the Modern World" (The Lowell Lectures, Harvard, 1925), and "Process and Reality" (The Gifford Lectures, Edinburgh, 1927), and Charles Taylor's "A Secular Age" (Gifford Lectures, 1999).
The Terry Lectures (which happen to be concluding this very week) are open to the public, as I would suppose many such presentations are. Yale makes some of the lectures available as internet video, and it looks as though this will be the case for their current series. The Yale Terry Lectures site is here.
It occurred to me a while back that a pleasant pursuit in one's (that is, my) leisure years would be to attend various books and arts festivals around the globe. To this I will now add a peripatetic following of lecture series.
("Peripatetic," of course, is the word, because sometimes one must walk... out. Like the lecture I stumbled into while visiting Oxford a few years ago: "Science and Post-Modernity." Dr. Throgbottom spent the first twenty-five minutes discussing the difference between "post-modernity" and "post-modernism." Feet, don't fail me now....)