Summer Institute 2019

2019 Summer Institute


Register Here

We’ve all witnessed how incivility and disparagement are increasingly dominant in public discourse. Whether it be news, social media, or personal conversations, the rhetoric is ratcheting up. This summer Gutenberg would like to explore why this is happening and how a Christian might respond. We will not try to convince you of a particular political viewpoint or offer the definitive solution. Instead, together we will dig under the surface to gain a fresh understanding of the social and philosophical forces at play so that we can answer this question for ourselves: Where do our loyalties lie, with tribe or truth?

Summer Institute is an enjoyable and informative time to experience Gutenberg by sharing meals, discussing the works of influential thinkers, and listening to speakers from the Gutenberg community. Come join us!


Art Show
Annette YugaIn conjunction with Gutenberg’s Summer Institute, the Puccinelli Gallery will display the art of Annette Julian Yuga, an artist from Florence, Oregon. Summer Institute participants are invited to an opening-night reception on Thursday August 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the Puccinelli Art Gallery at Gutenberg College.


Institute Details

Thursday night, August 1, 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Friday night, August 2, 4:45 to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 3, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Gutenberg College
1883 University Street
Eugene, OR 97403

(includes dinner on Friday night; continental breakfast on Saturday morning; and lunch on Saturday):
Before July 1: $85 (Individual); $115 (Family); $40 (Student)
July 1 and after: $100 (Individual); $130 (Family); $45 (Student)

* Financial Aid: Limited financial aid packages are available for those who wish to attend. If you wish to apply, please contact the office.

Volunteer opportunities: We can also offer reduced costs for volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the office.


Stream the lectures live: $15

  • Only lectures will be streamed. Discussions will not be streamed.
  • A PDF of the reading material will be provided to streamers to read.
  • A recording of each of the lecture videos will be available online for a month after the end of the conference.

Register To Stream


Limited lodging at Gutenberg College is available. Cost for lodging is $30 per night for a single room and $45 per night for a double room. Please email the Gutenberg office if you are interested in staying at Gutenberg. Space is very limited.

If you are interested in childcare, please email the Gutenberg office.


Register To Attend the Summer Institute

Or call the Gutenberg College office: 541-683-5141.


Gutenberg College Summer Institutes are an opportunity to explore a topic while getting some of the “Gutenberg” experience. That is, we discuss readings from important works in our culture and also listen to talks related to the topic. A reading packet (PDF) will be emailed to participants. Speakers are listed below. (More details regarding readings and lectures will be available later.)

Thursday Night

5:30-6:15 p.m. Check In and Art Show Reception
(Hors d’oeuvres served at reception.)
6:15-6:30 p.m. Welcome
6:30-8:00 p.m. Discussion of Reading One
8:00-8:15 p.m. Break
8:15-9:00 p.m. Lecture 1: Charley Dewberry

Friday Night

4:45-5:30 p.m. Lecture 2: Larry Barber
5:30-6:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30-8:00 p.m. Discussion of Reading Two
8:00-8:15 p.m. Break
8:15-9:00 p.m. Lecture 3: Chris Swanson


8:30-9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
9:00-10:30 a.m. Discussion of Reading Three
10:30-10:45 a.m. Break
10:45-11:30 a.m. Lecture 4: Eliot Grasso
11:30-12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30-2:00 p.m. Discussion of Reading Four
2:00-2:15 p.m. Break
2:15-3:00 p.m. Lecture 5: Ron Julian
3:00-3:30 p.m. Q and A


Format: Discussions & Lectures

Gutenberg College Summer Institutes are an opportunity to explore a topic while getting some of the “Gutenberg” experience. That is, we discuss readings from important works in our culture and also listen to talks related to the topic. The presenters/discussion leaders are listed below. A reading packet (PDF) will be emailed to participants.

Thursday Night

6:30-8:00 p.m. Discussion of Reading One: Selection from Whose Justice, Which Rationality by Alasdair MacIntyre.

8:10-9:00 p.m. Lecture One
Charley Dewberry: “The Philosophical Context for What Happened to Civil Discourse”
During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the dominant philosophical positions moved away from modernism and science to more skeptical positions, including liberalism, that were less confident about truth. This move was not kind to civil discourse. The result was less confidence that discourse could resolve differences, individual positions that were less about truth and more about individual or cultural beliefs, and ultimately less dialogue and more rhetoric. This talk will define liberalism (not as either the Left or Right understand it) and discuss the threat to civil discourse.

Friday Night

4:45-5:30 p.m. Lecture Two
Larry Barber: “What Is the Problem with How We Interact?”

A severe lack of respect and incivility now permeate public and political discourse more than in any previous generation. Name-calling, angry voices, and blaming are common on both sides of the political spectrum. Sadly, this same dynamic has been present in private relationships since the beginning of human existence. Through an engaging process, counselor Larry Barber will help us understand the beliefs and fears that motivate such destructive interactions in both public and private contexts so that we can take personal responsibility for how we interact with others.

6:00-7:30 p.m. Discussion of Reading Two: Selection from Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes by Jacques Ellul

7:40-8:30 p.m. Lecture Three
Chris Swanson: “Discourse in a Technological World”
In the ideal democracy, public opinion combines the perspectives of independent individuals into a whole. That independence, however, is radically shattered by the use of political persuasion. This talk will examine some of the key developments and changes in technology and methodology that have influenced political discourse. It will focus on the underlying social and technological structures of our age and the implications they have for persuasion and public discourse.



9:00-10:30 a.m. Discussion of Reading Three: Selection from The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt.

10:40-11:30 a.m. Lecture Four
Eliot Grasso: “If We’re So Open-minded, Why Do We fight?”
Open-mindedness has never been more valued in our culture than in this present day and age. One might think that this new spirit of open-mindedness would cultivate unity and dispel division. Quite the contrary has happened, however. Why does our culture that so values open-mindedness find itself increasingly unable to reconcile and communicate? This talk will examine the nature of cultures and the role that contrasting opinions can play in a society’s flourishing or erosion.


12:30-2:00 p.m. Discussion of Reading Four: I Peter.

2:10-3:00 p.m. Lecture Five
Ron Julian: “Truth, Love, and Fear”
Christians know that we are called to speak the truth in love. But we live in a world filled with fears—fear of economic hardship, fear of violence, fear of falsehoods, fear of change, fear of strangers—and Christians are all too susceptible to such fears. We are pulled in many directions at once. Can we abandon fear, hold fast to the truth, and yet love those with whom we disagree? This talk will explore some of the many things the Bible has to say about truth, love, and fear.



Larry Barber
Larry Barber (B.A., Biblical Studies; M.A., Counseling Psychology) has been employed by Charis Foundation since 1994, where he offers faith-based pastoral counseling. He has also served as a pastor in both California and Oregon.

Charley Dewberry
Charley Dewberry (M.A., Stream Ecology; Ph.D., Philosophy) is the dean and a tutor at Gutenberg College and the author of two books: Saving Science and Intelligent Discourse.

Eliot Grasso
Eliot Grasso (M.A., Ethnomusicology; Ph.D., Musicology) is the provost and a tutor at Gutenberg College. He is also an internationally known musician.

Ron Julian
Ron Julian (B.A., Linguistics; M.A., Religion) is a tutor at Gutenberg College, the author of Righteous Sinners, and a co-author of The Language of God: A Commonsense Approach to Understanding and Applying the Bible.

Chris Swanson
Chris Swanson (M.S., Physics; Ph.D., Physics) is the president and a tutor at Gutenberg College.


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