Vanderbilt Divinity lectures target community for fall series

September 13, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A trio of upcoming speakers will launch a new season of community lectures from the Vanderbilt Divinity School. This fall the Divinity School hopes to reach its largest audience ever by offering a diverse series of talks by some of the world’s premier theologians. All events are open to the public.

In addition to the long-standing Cole Lecture Series and Community Breakfast Series, the Divinity School will co-sponsor the second year of the Relevant Religion Series with Scarritt Bennett Center and an address with the Vanderbilt Law School as well as present the Kelly Miller Smith Institute Series.

German theologian Jürgen Moltmann will explore “The Crucified God: Yesterday and Today” on Thursday, Sept. 19. Moltmann is widely recognized as the world’s most prominent theologian of the last 40 years. After publishing his landmark Theology of Hope in 1967, he wrote The Crucified God in 1974, which gave a new perspective on God’s role in and power over the acts of horrendous inhumanity that took place in the 20th century. His lecture will revisit this theme in light of current terrorist acts and rumors of war. The free lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Benton Chapel on the Vanderbilt campus.

Elisabeth Moltmann-Wendel, Germany’s leading feminist theologian, will point to the centrality of friendship in religious experience with “Friendship—the Forgotten Category for Faith and Christian Community: A Perspective for the 21st Century.” Her lecture will take place Friday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. at Vanderbilt’s Benton Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. Both Elisabeth and Jürgen Moltmann will lecture as part of the Divinity School’s 2002 Cole Lecture Series.

Riggins R. Earl, professor of ethics and theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Ga., will discuss “Leadership and the Black Religious Tradition” on Saturday, Sept. 21. Earl will address the details of the prophetic tradition that gave shape to the moral vision of black religious leadership in America, and how this tradition might inform the future development of leaders for the church. Earl’s lecture begins at 9 a.m. in Room G-23 of the Vanderbilt Divinity School. The event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies at Vanderbilt.

Other events being offered by the Divinity School this fall include:

· “Hebrew Narratives: Histories and Stories;” Jack Sasson, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible; Oct. 7, 14, 21 and 28 as part of Vanderbilt’s Relevant Religion Series.
· “The Historical Jesus: New Wine and Old Wineskins;” Amy-Jill Levine, Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies; Oct. 17; Vanderbilt Community Breakfast Series.
· “Executing the Innocent: The Threat of the Death Penalty System in America;” Gerald Kogan, former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court; Oct. 17; sponsored by the Vanderbilt Divinity School and Vanderbilt Law School.
· “Faith Based Social Programs;” Harold Dean Trulear; Oct. 17; Kelly Miller Smith Institute Series.
· “Creativity and Christian Art;” Victor Judge, editor of the Vanderbilt publication The Spire; Nov. 4, 11, 18 and 25; Relevant Religion Series.
· “The U.S. Church and State Debate: Historical Perspectives and Implications for the Future;” Kathleen Flake, assistant professor of American Religious History; Nov. 14; Community Breakfast Series.

For more news about Vanderbilt, visit the Vanderbilt News Service homepage at

Contact: David Glasgow, 615-322-NEWS,

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