Chaplaincy's Sylvester Spirituality Series Hosts Rainn Wilson

June 6, 2024

On April 1, actor, comedian, and author Rainn Wilson joined University Chaplain Craig Kocher in Cannon Memorial Chapel for a moderated conversation about Wilson’s newest book, Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution. 

With almost 700 members of the University of Richmond community in attendance, Wilson discussed the trauma present in our world including the lasting impact of the pandemic, societal tensions, and political unrest. Sharing from his own journey, he suggested mindfulness techniques and a broader sense of spirituality as a means of finding healing on both a personal and global level. Wilson grew up as a part of the Bahá'í faith and, drawing from his own religious background, challenged the students in the audience to find a sense of spirituality that could sustain them throughout the trials that would, undoubtedly, arise in their lives.

Wilson is an Emmy-nominated and SAG award-winning actor best known for playing “Dwight Schrute” for nine seasons on NBC’s The Office. Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution is Wilson’s third book and the culmination of over a decade of exploring topics of spirituality and human connection as one of the co-founders of the media company SoulPancake.

Following Wilson’s conversation with Dr. Kocher, graduating senior Abbey Alvarado interviewed Wilson, asking questions collected from fellow students.

Wilson was the most recent guest in the Office of the Chaplaincy’s Sylvester Spirituality Series, generously supported by the Sylvester family. Soul Boom: An Evening with Rainn Wilson was also supported by the Gottwald Speaker’s Fund and co-sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement. It was an evening of laughter, reflection, and hope and we are grateful for the generosity of the Sylvester family that makes this lecture series possible. Past Sylvester Spiritual Series guests include Dr. Kate Bowler, Lama Rod Owens, Fred Bahnson, Vanessa Zoltan and Bree Newsome.