Clasped hands in robe with CHF logo and text overlay: BELIEF, October 28 - November 12


What do we mean by “Belief”?

October 28 - November 12, Chicago Humanities Festival invites you to consider this question and more at Fallfest/17: Belief!

Faith in the divine, commitment to a cause, conviction about the truth, trust in our institutions?

However we understand the idea, issues of belief have never been more in flux. In some parts of the world, religious observance is up, while in others it is tanking. Geopolitical conflict is increasingly cast in theological terms. Many younger Americans write “none” when asked their religion, yet avidly seek spiritual fulfillment. Memoir after memoir tells a story about losing faith in older traditions, or finding security in new ones.

Trust in our institutions has eroded almost across the board over the past decade. A mere 9% of Americans currently report a “great deal” of confidence in Congress. And the media, banks, and the business world do not fare much better. Belief is after all also a matter of trust: can we trust our media? Our economy? Our police? Our scientists? Our government?

And belief is a state of mind, even a set of feelings—a firmness of conviction, a posture toward the world. Perhaps it is worth asking: what kind of future do we believe in?

Headliners of Fallfest/17: Belief include former Vice President Al Gore, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, historian and Alexander Hamilton author Ron Chernow, and the host of Believer on CNN, Reza Aslan.

Former Vice President Al Gore will come to CHF to discuss his upcoming documentary and book, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which looks at all that has transpired in the decade since the release of An Inconvenient Truth. The sequel will explore the steps taken, both forward and backward, in response to the existential threat of our time — global climate change.

Fallfest/17: Belief presenter and former Vice President Al Gore

Power, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Problem From Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide, will present a public program followed by CHF’s annual benefit. Aslan, author of the forthcoming book god and works including No god but God and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, will speak to the wide variety of religious experience and how human conceptions of god have evolved over time. Chernow, the author of the Alexander Hamilton biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical, will discuss his upcoming biography of Ulysses S. Grant.

Fallfest/17: Belief presenters Samantha Power, Reza Aslan, and Ron Chernow

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