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Holland Lecture Series
Selection of Previous Lectures
The History of the Holland Lecture Series

Bringing internationally recognized speakers to Omaha, these lectures provided open discussion of provocative ideas that are not usually heard in Nebraska. They challenged and broadened understandings of ethics, philosophy, religion and science as they related to the current national and world concerns. First Unitarian Church has a history of encouraging free and open discussion of controversial topics. Between 1954 and 1964, the church was the home of the Frank R. Hoagland Lectures. As a young man, Dick Holland attended many Hoagland Lectures that shaped his world perspective. This project was rooted in those memories. Dick and Mary Holland believed that the Hoagland Lectures are an appropriate model for the Holland Lectures series established. In 2006, First Unitarian Church and the Omaha community lost a very good friend with the passing of Mary Holland.

The Holland Lecture Series brought timely and important ideas to the community. The views represented are the sole responsibility of the guest speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views of the First Unitarian Church of Omaha. 

The final Holland Lecture was held on Wednesday, May 10 2017 featuring Jacob Hacker. The lecture series has now been discontinued. 


The Omaha community is grateful to Mr. Holland for many important lectures. 







Naomi Oreskes
"The American Denial of Climate Warming"
Dale Ho
"Your Voting Rights, 50 Years After Selma"
Angela Davis
"Prison Reform: Real or Imagined"
Eric Liu


"We're all Better Off When We're All Better Off"


Dr. Richard Dawkins

"The Purpose of Purpose"

Click 'play' to view Dr. Dawkin's 2009 talk as given in three locations, including Omaha.

Rev. Debra Haffner

"Faithful Voices on Religion and Sexuality"

Rev. Haffner is a nationally known sexologist, minister, and author. She is the director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing. Rev. Haffner has been a sexologist for 30 years, and was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 2003, after seven years of study and preparation. She has authored five books, including two award winning books for parents, From Diapers to Dating and Beyond the Big Talk, as well as several books for congregations on sexuality issues.

Rev. Haffner's blog:

The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and healing:


Dr. Peter Singer

"The Changing Ethics of Life and Death"


Dr. Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, was the first Holland Lecture speaker in 2006. 

Singer, who has special interests in animal rights and social philosophy, says his work is based on the assumption that clarity and consistency in our moral thinking is likely, in the long run, to hold better views on ethical issues. Coeditor of Bioethics since 1985, he has published many articles and more than two dozen books, including Democracy and Disobedience; Animal Liberation; Practical Ethics; The Reproduction Revolution (with Deane Wells); Should the Baby Live? (with Helga Kuhse); How Are We to Live?; Ethics into Action: Henry Spira and the Animal Rights Movement; Rethinking Life and Death; Test-Tube Babies; and In Defense of Animals.

A native of Melbourne, Australia, Singer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Melbourne and his B.Phil. from the University of Oxford.




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