Peter Gomes to deliver talk on ‘The Good Life: Truths that Last in Times of Need’ for Assembly Series

Harvard’s chaplain, the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, will deliver the Assembly Series lecture at 11 a.m. Wed., Oct. 15. The talk will be based on his most recent book, The Good Life: Truths that Last in Times of Need, and is sponsored by Washington University’s Campus Y. All Assembly Series lectures are free and open to the public and held in Graham Chapel, located just north of Mallinckrodt Center (6445 Forsyth Blvd.) on the university’s main campus.

Gomes has served in The Memorial Church of Harvard University for more than 30 years, and has been the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister of the Memorial Church for nearly as long. He holds joint appointments in arts & sciences and in divinity at Harvard.

Ordained to the American Baptist Ministry in 1968, Gomes is widely regarded as one of America’s most distinguished preachers. In 1999 he was included in Talk magazine’s feature on “The Best Talkers in America: Fifty Big Mouths We Hope Will Never Shut Up.” Named Clergy of the Year in 1998 by Religion in American Life, Gomes was chosen to participate in the presidential inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.

The Good Life: Truths that Last in Times of Need, published in 2002, addresses the challenges and importance of living responsibly. He debunks the idea that today’s college students are spoiled, materialistic and morally complacent and believes they have the moral curiosity to search for the truths. He offers advice on how to focus on what he considers the important things in life, emphasizing the need for distinguishing between the “plausible lies” that our society defines as “the good life” and the “fantastic truths” that he believes can bring real and lasting happiness.

Gomes has written a number of other books, including the best-selling The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart, and Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living. Furthermore, Gomes has published several volumes of sermons as well as articles and essays.

The recipient of a number of honorary degrees, Gomes has been awarded additional honors, including Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge, England, where the Gomes Lectureship has been established; and Missioner to Oxford University. In 2001, he received Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa Award. He also holds the position of trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and is a member of the Morehouse College Task Force on Tolerance and Diversity. He graduated from Bates College, Lewiston, Me, in 1965 and Harvard Divinity School in 1968.

For more information, call (314) 935-4620 or visit the Assembly Series Web page (