Humanities Symposium

2014-Radical Hospitality

All Are Welcome: Living the Life of Radical Hospitality

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hospitality is a word with a marvelous history. Christian monasteries, places of solace and refuge, appeared in the early part of the fifth century. Wayfarers, homeless, and strangers in need could come there for needs of body, mind, and spirit. The Latin term, hospes, has been often applied to the phrase, “host of the stranger.” Hospital, hospice, hospitable, hospitality—all from the same root word, meaning generous, caring, sustaining. St. Benedict created a guideline for monks to live by—The Rule of Benedict—which is used still today by many monasteries around the world. “Listen with the ear of your heart,” St. Benedict wrote. St. Francis shared the Gospel of God’s love without preaching; he offered it by his life of human love.

This symposium will share the visions of radical hospitality from many different personalities with two things in common—Viterbo University graduates and faculty and a desire to lead by serving through faith, hope, and charity. The Viterbo University School of Letters and Sciences offers this annual event to provide a common topic that upholds the values of our Franciscan university while offering opportunities to apply those values with an interdisciplinary lens.

Feminist Letty Russell once said, “Hospitality is the practice of God’s welcome by reaching across difference to participate in actions bringing justice and healing to our world in crisis.” That is an extraordinary challenge to pose and those with the heart for strangers will seem so radical in our narcissistic age. This symposium will challenge you.

Wednesday, February 26

11 a.m.Registration for Breakout Discussions/Nametags
South hallway and atrium of the Fine Arts Center
12 p.m.Keynote Speaker Molly Simones, Friendship Park, Sacramento, Calif.
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
1:30 p.m.Community Activists/Servant Leaders Panel Discussion>br/> Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
Viterbo Alumni: Sue Kastensen, Michael Krueger, Wayne Oliver, Kelsey Pruitt, Tom Skemp
2:35 p.m.Viterbo Faculty Panel Discussion
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
Judy Casto, Marlene Fisher, Michael Ranscht, Tom Thibodeau, and Wayne Wagner
3:45 p.m.Break-out Small Group Discussions
Designated Classrooms
Two faculty members will join a group of 20 students to facilitate and summarize key issues and values drawn from the afternoon presentations and from the faculty facilitator’s discipline and experiences.

All events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. If you have questions, contactWilliam Reese at 608-796-3708 or email