Earl Lectures 2010 - Scotty McLennan

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Scotty McLennan

Plenary Session V: Growing Up Spiritual or Religious?: A Developmental View
Thursday, January 28, 9:00am

Being "spiritual, but not religious" is an important stage for many of us in our faith development during our life cycle, with "faith" being understood as a human universal,  relating to striving for meaning and purpose.  But a number of psychologists have determined that there are other developmental stages coming before and after which variously integrate the spiritual and the religious.  Moreover, "religion" 
itself may best be understood as a continuous dynamic between institutionalized traditions and transformative personal experiences.  
This lecture will describe six stages of faith development and demonstrate a dance between being spiritual and being religious from childhood through old age.


The Reverend William L. McLennan, Jr. -- better known as "Scotty McLennan" -- was born on November 21, 1948. He is an ordained minister, lawyer, and author. Since January 1, 2001, McLennan has been the Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University in California, where he oversees religious affairs on campus, is the minister of the Stanford Memorial Church and teaches undergraduate and Graduate School of Business courses.

McLennan is the author of Jesus Was a Liberal: Reclaiming Christianity for All (2009), Finding Your Religion: When the Faith You Grew Up With Has Lost Its Meaning (1999), and co-author, with Laura Nash of Church on Sunday, Work on Monday: The Challenge of Fusing Christian Values with Business Life (2001).

Originally from Lake Forest, Illinois, McLennan attended the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. He received his B.A. degree (Magna Cum Laude & Phi Beta Kappa) from Yale University in 1970 as "Scholar of the House," an honorary program for about a dozen Yale seniors. His final thesis was a monograph entitled "Computers and Infinity."

He earned both Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees from Harvard's Divinity and Law Schools in 1975. He was ordained in 1975 as a Unitarian Universalist Christian minister, and admitted that year to the Massachusetts bar. After practicing church-sponsored poverty law in a low-income neighborhood of Boston for a decade and founding the Unitarian Universalist Legal Ministry, he was appointed University Chaplain at Tufts University in Medford, Massachuestts, where he served from 1984 to 2000. He also served as a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School between 1988 and 2000.

In 1994, he was the recipient of The Rabbi Martin Katzenstein Award, the oldest annual award given to Harvard Divinity School Alumni/ae "to honor among its graduates one who exhibits a passionate and helpful interest in the lives of other people." McLennan also was honored with the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award in 2004. The award was "established to recognize leaders who promote peace and world reconciliation" by Morehouse College.

Scotty McLennan is married to Ellen S. McLennan. They wed in 1981 in Boston, Massachusetts and are the parents of two sons, Will McLennan (b. 1982) and Dan McLennan (b. 1984), both of whom are alumni of Stanford University.

McLennan's grandfather, Donald R. McLennan, co-founded the insurance brokerage, Marsh & McLennan, in 1905 in Chicago. Today, Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC) is a US-based global professional services and insurance brokerage firm.

McLennan is part of the inspiration for the cartoon character Reverend Scot Sloan in Garry Trudeau's Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon strip "Doonesbury". The character is also based on the late William Sloane Coffin, McLennan's mentor and former Chaplain at Yale University, where McLennan and Trudeau were undergraduate roommates.

See http://www.scottymclennan.com/ for more information.

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