Sorensen Lecture: Elizabeth Bruenig, “In Praise of Shadows”

Event time: 
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Sterling Divinity Quadrangle (SDQ ), Niebuhr Hall See map
409 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Elizabeth Bruenig, a staff writer for The Atlantic magazine who works at the intersection of politics, religion, and culture, will give Yale Divinity School’s Sorensen Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Ms. Bruenig will speak on “In Praise of Shadows.”
The lecture will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Niebuhr Hall. In-person attendance will be limited to the on-campus Yale community. YDS alumni and friends are invited to watch the live broadcast on Livestream ( or view the post-event video on the YDS YouTube channel (
A graduate of Brandeis University, Bruenig used her Marshall Scholarship to study Christian theology at Cambridge University, where she earned a Master of Philosophy degree. She left a doctoral program in religion at Brown University when offered a fulltime writing position at The New Republic. In 2016, Bruenig joined The Washington Post as assistant editor before moving to the opinion section and becoming a columnist in 2018. In 2020, she joined The New York Times as an opinion writer, and in 2021, she accepted a staff writer position with The Atlantic, where she publishes columns, essays, and reported features and undertakes multimedia projects.
The context for Bruenig’s Sorensen Lecture is the unprecedented abundance and accessibility of information today. One of the paramount political challenges of our era, she observes, is determining how best to respond to the falsehoods and misrepresentations that readily circulate in channels for information-sharing. “Despite our many public conversations about the moral ramifications of true-versus-false information,” she says, “we seem to take for granted that if information is true, then, all else being equal, it’s perfectly good to learn it. But on that point, I’m torn: As a journalist, I certainly like the sound of it; as an observer of our society, I have my doubts. In this talk, I will sketch a tentative case for declining particular knowledge, for leaving some things shrouded in shadow—not for immediate and strictly contemporary political reasons, but in hopes for a much broader socio-political renewal.”
The Margaret Lindquist Sorensen Lectureship was established in 1978 by a gift from her son, Dr. Andrew A. Sorensen ’62 B.D., to provide an annual lecture on politics and ethics.

Open to: 
General Public