Bridge Panel

Bridge Panels


Bridge Panel Public Conversation
A Bridge Panel Public Conversation
Duke Chapel’s Bridge Panels public conversation series seeks to connect people from disparate walks of life in order to discover shared pathways toward the beloved community of God. It is led by the dean of the Chapel.

See below for descriptions and video recordings of recent Bridge Panel conversations.

Scholars Discuss 'Becoming Human'

March 7, 2023

Duke Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery discusses his latest book, Becoming Human: The Holy Spirit and the Rhetoric of Race, with two leading scholars in fields that are important to the book. The panelists are:

  • Dean Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke Chapel and an associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School
  • Dr. Willie James Jennings, associate professor of systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale University Divinity School
  • Dr. Charmaine Royal, the Robert O. Keohane Professor of African and African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine and Community Health at Duke University

The moderator for the conversation is Dr. Patrick Smith, director of the Program in Bioethics at Duke's Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine and also an associate research professor of theological ethics and bioethics at Duke Divinity School.

Every Life Sacred: The Urgency to End Gun Violence

October 15, 2019

In the wake of recent gun violence across the nation and in Durham, this Bridge Panel public conversation seeks to bring urgency to ending the pain and suffering it causes. Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery moderates this discussion. The panelists are:

  • Rob Belcher, founder of Chance2Change
  • Chief Cerelyn Davis, chief of the Durham Police Department
  • Dr. Kristin Goss, Kevin D. Gorter Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke
  • The Rev. Ben Haas, executive director of the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham

Preaching and the Public Square

February 27, 2019

In this Bridge Panel three deans of Duke University Chapel—one current and two former—hold a public conversation about the role of preaching in public discourse. The panelists are:

  • The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke Chapel since 2012 and an associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School
  • The Rev. Dr. Samuel Wells, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields and former dean of Duke Chapel from 2005 to 2012
  • Bishop William Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School and former dean of Duke Chapel from 1984 to 2004

Frank Stasio, the host of WUNC Radio's The State of Things, moderates the discussion.

Re-Visioning Justice

November 20, 2018

This Bridge Panel highlights the stories of justice-involved individuals and the impact of mass incarceration in the local community as well as ways faith communities and others are coming together to seek a more just society. Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery moderates the discussion. The panelists are:

  • Dr. Douglas Campbell, Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School
  • Drew Doll, Reentry Coordinator for the Religious Coalition of a Nonviolent Durham
  • The Hon. Shamieka L. Rhinehart, Durham District Court Judge

    The Enduring Challenge of a Moral Economy

    April 19, 2018

    In joining with others to begin organizing the Poor People’s Campaign 50 years ago, the Rev. Dr. King was working out of a Christian conviction that racial equity, economic justice and peace among nations were interrelated issues -- and all matters of faith. This public conversation is an opportunity to bring together the insights of a preacher and a politician on the present-day work toward a just, moral economy. Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery moderates the discussion. The panelists are:

    • Sen. Bernie Sanders, former presidential candidate
    • The Rev. Dr. William Barber II, national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach

    Race Then and Now

    April 14, 2018

    Three decades years ago, black male Duke Students were being stopped and harassed on campus. To address the problem, then Black Student Alliance President Maurice "Mo" Green and Associated Students of Duke University President Jan Nolting Carter gathered students, public safety officers, faculty, and administrators to talk through the issues and concerns. Fast forward to this year, hear Mo and Jan's compelling story and join the conversation, moderated by Duke Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery. The panelists are:

    • Maurice "Mo" Green, T '88, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
    • The Rev. Dr. Jan Nolting Carter, T '88, transitional pastor and head of staff at Church of the Pilgrims, a Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.
    • Riyanka Ganguly, president of Duke Student Government

    Dignity, Diversity, and Visions of a Good Death

    February 23, 2018

    What would you do if you knew you had a year to live? A month? A day? How would you spend your time?  Who would you spend it with?  What would you do? This Bridge Panel explores how these questions—and the way that each of us answers them—illuminate the diversity in our community. Presented in collaboration with the Duke Center for Palliative Care and the Duke University School of Nursing. The panelists are:

    • Linda Jacob, patient family member
    • Kimberly Johnson, MD, associate professor of medicine, Division of Geriatrics
    • Pastor Ronald Godbee, River Church in Durham
    • Anthony Galanos, MD, professor of medicine, Duke Palliative Care
    • Elizabeth Zechinati, NP, nurse practitioner, Duke Palliative Care

    The conversation is moderated by David Casarett, MD, director of the Duke Center for Palliative Care.

    Facing the Flood: Faith and Action for the Rising Generation

    April 6, 2017

    This Bridge Panel public conversation explores how different disciplines can work together for the same environmental goals during a time of political challenge. The role of faith will be one aspect of our discussion, including the deeper religious or philosophical beliefs that help guide the panelists' work. Moderated by the Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke Chapel, the panel includes:

    • Ms. Lena Connor, senior MDiv student, chair of Creation Matters at Duke Divinity School
    • Dr. Saskia Cornes: farm and program manager at Duke Farm
    • Dr. Brian Murray: director of the Environmental Economics Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and interim director of the Duke University Energy Initiative
    • Dr. Norman Wirzba, professor of theology, ecology, and agrarian studies at Duke Divinity School; senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics

    The Role of Faith at a Research University

    March 28, 2017

    This Bridge Panel addresses various ways faith contributes to the life and purposes of a research university, inside and outside the classroom, whether it be in the fields of business, divinity, medicine, or arts and sciences. The panelists are:

    • Dr. Valerie Ashby, dean of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
    • Dr. William Boulding, dean of the Fuqua School of Business
    • Dr. Mary Klotman, chair of Department of Medicine, appointed as next dean of the School of Medicine
    • The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke University Chapel

    The is discussion moderated by Dr. Don Taylor, a professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy and chair-elect of the Academic Council.

    Peace in an Age of Terror

    October 24, 2016

    In a world worried about terror—acts of violence with political ends—how is it possible to live in peace? This Bridge Panel conversation takes up the question of what spiritual, political and communal resources are available to seek peace in an age of fear. Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery moderates the conversation. The panelists are:

    • Dr. Valerie Cooper, associate professor of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School
    • Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law
    • Dr. Omid Safi, director of Duke’s Islamic Studies Center and a professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

    Christian Prayer and Unity

    April 7, 2015

    Dozens of Christian groups are active on Duke's campus, and the Chapel seeks to play an ecumenical collaborative role with many of them. This Bridge Panel conversation aims to highlight the prayer traditions of some of these groups and also to explore the ways in which together we are - and are not - living into Jesus' call for Christian unity. Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery moderates the discussion. The panelists are:

    • Fr. Michael Martin, director of the Duke Catholic Center
    • The Rev. Meghan Benson, director of worship at Duke Chapel
    • Steve Hinkle, campus minister with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries
    • The Rev. Dr. Lauren Winner, assistant professor of Christian spirituality at Duke Divinity School

    What to Say When Someone Is Dying

    March 24, 2015

    Death can sometimes seem far away on a college campus, but it is, of course, the final fact of life for everyone. A Duke Chapel "Bridge Panel" explores death and dying from personal, practical, and theological perspectives. The conversation, "What to Say when Someone is Dying," is part of the Chapel's Bridge Panels series that seeks to connect people from various walks of life to discuss issues of shared concern. The panelists are:

    • Jennifer Gentry, Nurse Practitioner with Duke Palliative Care
    • Raymond Barfield, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy at Duke
    • Karla FC Holloway, James B. Duke Professor of English, Professor of Law, and Professor of African American Studies at Duke
    • Richard Lischer, James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor of Preaching

    The panel is moderated by Luke Powery, Dean of Duke Chapel. The discussion was organized in partnership with the Duke University School of Nursing, Duke Medicine's Pastoral Services, and Duke Divinity School.

    What Is Sacred Space?

    Feb 25, 2015

    Sacred space is central in the practices of many faith traditions. A Duke Chapel "Bridge Panel" explores the topic with Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders. The panelists include:

    • Dr. Ellen Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at the Duke Divinity School
    • Dr. Omid Safi, director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center
    • Dr. Christy Lohr Sapp, associate dean for Religious Life at Duke Chapel
    • Rebecca Simons, director for Jewish Life at Duke

    Chapel Dean Luke Powery will moderate the discussion. The conversation is part of the Chapel's Bridge Panels series that seeks to connect people from various walks of life to discuss issues of shared concern. The event is co-sponsored by Duke Undergraduate Faith Council.

    Responding to Violence with Justice and Mercy

    October 24, 2014

    A Duke Chapel Bridge Panel discussion moderated by the Rev. Dr. Luke Powery, dean of the chapel. The conversation, “Responding to Violence with Justice and Mercy,” is part of the Chapel’s Bridge Panels series that seeks to connect people from various walks of life to discuss issues of shared concern. The panelists are:

    • The Rev. Melvin Bullock, retired chaplain of Polk Correctional Institution
    • The Honorable Marcia H. Morey, chief district court judge of Durham’s 14th Judicial District
    • Joslin Simms, a member of the Durham chapter of Parents of Murdered Children
    • Professor Simon Partner from Duke’s history department