Author, "spirtual teacher" Kent Nerburn opens the speaker series at FLCC on Oct. 15

HOPEWELL — Award-winning author Kent Nerburn, who has been dubbed “one of America’s living spiritual teachers,” will open the 2017-18 season of the George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum with a talk at Finger Lakes Community College on Sunday, Oct. 15.

The “Seeing Through Other’s Eyes” event will explore the art of listening with respect and civility. He believes doing so promotes shared wisdom and a better world, and maintains that a clearer vision is more readily achieved when seeing through others’ eyes.

Nerburn has authored and edited over a dozen books on spiritual values and Native American themes. Among them is a trilogy illuminating the Native American experience “in ‘our’ white world,” beginning with “Neither Wolf Nor Dog,” which was made into a 2016 film by the same title. He has also written on European-American Judeo-Christian ethics in books such as “Simple Truths,” “Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace” and “Letters to My Son.”

His latest book, “Voices in the Stones: Life Lessons from the Native Way,” offers vignettes on Native American ways, from grief to celebration, that serve as a reminder that people have much to learn from one another.

Nerburn received his bachelor’s in American studies from the University of Minnesota, and his doctorate in religion/theology and art with distinction from Graduate Theological Union in conjunction with the University of California at Berkeley. He and his wife, retired journalism professor Louise Mengelkoch, have recently relocated to Portland, Oregon, after 25 years of living amid the lakes and pines of northern Minnesota.

He has been called “one of America’s living spiritual teachers” by the prestigious Spirituality and Practice website/magazine, and has been praised by Harper Collins publishers as “one of the few American writers who can respectfully bridge the gap between Native and non-Native cultures.”

The speaker series takes place on Sunday afternoons in the college’s Student Center Auditorium, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive.

The series will continue with talks by New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston.

Asimov’s talk on Nov. 5 is “Wine. Food. Who Could Ask for Anything More?” It is being sponsored by John and Josephine Ingle, owners of Heron Hill Winery, the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance and the New York Food and Grape Foundation.

Johnston wraps up the speaker series with a Jan. 28, 2018, talk, “Trump: Day 365. What Just Happened?!?”

Speakers are joined by moderators who pose questions in the style of a TV talk show. Nerburn will be joined on stage by Anne Eisenberg, professor of sociology at SUNY Geneseo.

Audience members will have an opportunity to submit questions.

Ticket info

Season tickets are $60 for general admission for all three events in the George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum speakers series. Single-event tickets are $25 each or free at the door with a current student ID.

Tickets can be ordered by phone at 585-430-8382 or email at, or purchased online at For the latest, follow the Ewing Forum on Facebook. Forum organizers always welcome sponsors. Donors receive tickets, admission to receptions and other benefits. For more information, contact Caroline Delavan at 585-394-0896.