Ruth Knee Lecture Archive

The Ruth Knee Lecture on Spirituality and Social Work: Forgiveness in the African American Religious Tradition

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
5:30-7:00 pm
The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration Lobby 969 E. 60th St. Chicago, IL 60637

This event is open to the public and is free if no CEUs are requested.

Tuition is $15* for 1.5 CEUs.

*PDP discounts do not apply to this program

For questions, contact the Professional Development Program.

Albert J. Raboteau, Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion Emeritus, Princeton University

Albert J. Raboteau

In June 2015, the murder of nine black church members in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist as they attended an evening Bible study class shocked the nation. The reactions of some of the family members of the slain amazed many as they expressed forgiveness for the killer. This lecture examines the long history of forgiveness in the African-American Church tradition, stretching from slavery to the present day, to help explain their amazing act.

Albert J. Raboteau is a specialist in American religious history. His research and teaching have focused on American Catholic history, African-American religious movements, and the place of beauty in the history of Eastern and Western Christian Spirituality. Among his publications are: Slave Religion: The ‘Invisible Institution’ in the Antebellum SouthA Sorrowful Joy, and American Prophets: Seven Religious Radicals & Their Struggle for Social and Political Justice.

The Lecture satisfies 1.5 hours toward the State of Illinois Cultural Competence requirement for social workers.

The presenter will be available to sign purchased books.


2014 Ruth Knee Lecture on Spirituality and Social Work

Motivational Interviewing and Quantum Change: Reflections on Human Potential

William R. Miller, PhD
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, The University of New Mexico

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This event has passed. Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.

FOR THE FIRST TIME in a single lecture, William Miller described and weaved together two major themes from his research career that illuminate the human potential for personal transformation. The first was motivational interviewing (MI), a collaborative counseling style he developed in the 1980s to help clients with alcohol problems overcome their ambivalence about behavior change. He then discussed quantum change—his study of transformations of the “Ebenezer Scrooge” variety that are sparked by epiphanies or sudden insights. Where does quantum change come from? Why do some of us experience it and what kind of people do we become as a result? Miller raised these questions and more as he reflected on our ability to achieve lasting change—and ensure that tomorrow need not be like yesterday.

Learning Objectives

Participants were able to:

  1. Identify at least three components of the underlying spirit with which motivational interviewing is practiced
  2. Explain the evoking process that is a defining aspect of motivational interviewing
  3. Describe key elements of a mystical experience
  4. List at least three common changes associated with “quantum change” experiences
  5. Describe at least four common insights that have become apparent to quantum changes.

Ruth Irelan Knee, A.M. '45, was a founding member of the National Association of Social Workers and one of the first psychiatric social workers. Her work across three decades helped define the role of social workers in the public sector. The Ruth Knee Support Fund for Spirituality in Social Work sponsors this lecture at SSA. Read more about Ruth Knee.