Anthropologist headlines Carter-Chalker Lectureship

The College of Idaho’s Carter-Chalker Lectureship on Faith and Contemporary Issues is set to host renowned anthropologist Dr. Tanya Marie Luhrmann for an Oct. 27 campus visit and public lecture.  Luhrmann’s stay will include class visits, a Q & A session and the free public lecture “Hearing God: Why People Experience the Same God Differently in Different Parts of the World,” which is set for 7 p.m. in the Langroise Center for Performing and Fine Arts on the C of I campus in Caldwell. 

Luhrmann is the current Watkins University professor in the Anthropology Department at Stanford University. She has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Her most recent book, When God Talks Back, explores the relationship of American Evangelicals with God in the modern world and has been described as, “a simultaneously scholarly and deeply personal analysis of evangelical communities in America.”

“Dr. Luhrmann is one of the most admired American anthropologists,” said Dr. John Ottenhoff, C of I vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty. “The College of Idaho welcomes her and is honored to have her speak to the community as part of this outstanding lectureship.”

The Carter-Chalker Lectureship on Faith and Contemporary Issues was established in 2011 thanks to a gift from the estate of the late William Carter. The series, named in honor of Carter and retired C of I professor Dr. William Chalker, brings at least one lecturer to campus each year for a public talk.

William Carter, who passed away in 2011, was a professional photographer in New York City. He did not attend C of I, but he maintained a positive relationship with the school his grandfather, Dr. William Judson Boone, founded in 1891. Carter believed religion had an important role in society, and he appreciated the forums on important issues the C of I provided for its students and the community.

Dr. William Chalker, who lives in California, taught philosophy and religion at C of I from 1960 to 1987 and also served as dean of the College. He authored the book Science and Faith: Understanding Meaning, Method and Truth and in 2007 received The College of Idaho President’s Medallion.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. The C of I has a legacy of academic excellence, a winning athletics tradition and a history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. For more information, visit