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Public Lectures

United Theological Seminary hosts four on-campus lecture series. Lectures are held in the Bigelow Chapel. All lectures are open to the public, and there is no charge or preregistration.

Susan Draper White Lectures in Women’s Studies (annual)
Wil Gafney, March 10 & 11, 2014
Multicultural Lectures (annual)
2014 dates TBA
Gustafson Lectures in Biblical Studies (periodic)
William P. Brown, April 16 & 17, 2012
Picard Lectures in Environmental Theology and Ethics (periodic)
Winona LaDuke, May 4 & 5, 2011

Susan Draper White Lectures in Women’s Studies
Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney, M.Div., Ph.D.

MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014, 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2014, 11:00
Bigelow Chapel


Wil Gafney
Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

March 10 - "Women of the Word: Women Prophets
and Scribes in and around Biblical Israel

March 11 - "She Reigns: The Royal Women of Israel
and Judah and the Israelite Queendom

download postcard

The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney is an associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Her course offerings include: Heroines, Harlots and Handmaids: the Women of the Hebrew Scriptures and Prophetic Constructions, which explores prophets who do not have canonical books attributed to them, including better-known prophets such as Miriam and Elijah, along with lesser-known prophets such as the woman with whom Isaiah fathered a child.

Her approach to teaching the Hebrew Scriptures includes emphasizing archaeology, comparative ancient Near Eastern literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Her interest in the ancient Near Eastern and biblical portrayals of Lilith and other night-stalking creatures led to her participation in two HBO documentaries on the origin and evolution of vampire mythologies, True Bloodlines: Vampire Legends and True Bloodlines: A New Type in 2008, airing before the series premiere of True Blood.

Dr. Gafney is an ordained Episcopal priest and a member of the historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia. Founded in 1792, it is the first Episcopal church in the U.S. founded by and for African Americans. More...

Fee: The lectures are free and open to the public.

Registration: Register online or contact Renee Flesner, 651.255.6138.

More Information: Call 651.255.6137 for more information about the lecture series or the speaker.

This endowed lectureship was established by Priscilla Braun ’83 in memory of her grandmother, Susan Draper White, for the presentation of two annual lectures in the area of women in religion, theology, and ministry. It is the major public event offered through the seminary’s Women’s Studies program.

Lecturers have included Eunjoo Mary Kim, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Mary Farrell Bednarowski, Jane Dempsey Douglass, Nancy L. Eiesland, Marie M. Fortune, Rita Gross, Beverly Harrison, Mary Hunt, Ada Isasi-Diaz, Karen Lebacqz, Barbara K. Lundblad, Joretta L. Marshall, Joyce Mercer, Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore, Damayanthi Niles, Judith Plaskow, Marjorie Procter-Smith, Letty M. Russell, Marjorie H. Suchocki, Emilie M. Townes, and Renita J. Weems.

Multicultural Lectures - Concert Event

MOST RECENT LECTURES (next lecture dates TBD)

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2013, 7:30 PM
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

"The Gospel According to Jazz"

Please join us to enjoy an evening featuring nationally acclaimed recording artist Kirk Whalum. A graduate of Texas Southern University in Houston, Kirk began his career in the 1980s and was introduced to the international jazz stage by legendary pianist Bob James, paving the way for his thriving career and ensuing albums. These include Caché, Joined at the Hip, For You, and his much celebrated series The Gospel According to Jazz.

Kirk is an ordained minister, having recently received his Master of Arts in Religion. In addition to music and ministry, Kirk has a passion to educate young, aspiring musicians, and as such is CEO and president of the Stax Music Academy and the STAX Museum of American Soul Music in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.

This event is free and open to the public. Please note it will be held at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. For more information, contact Margaree Levy, 651.255.6118.

The goal of the annual Multicultural Lectures is to continue developing strong, meaningful relationships with communities outside the cultural mainstream to enhance recruitment, provide mentoring services, and develop resources.

Speakers from past years include Yvette Flunder, Charles Amjad-Ali, Owais Bayunus, Martin Brokenleg, Melva Wilson Costen, Yvonne Delk, Warren L. Dennis, Justo González, Matthew V. Johnson, Jin S. Kim, Kosuke Koyama, Jacqueline Lewis, and Kim Mammedaty.

Gustafson Lectures in Biblical Studies
Dr. William P. Brown
MOST RECENT LECTURES (next lecture dates TBD)

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2012, 7:30 PM
"Wonder and Wisdom in Creation"
Bigelow Chapel

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2012, 11:00 AM
"Wonder and Hope in the New Creation"
Steckel Learning Center

Dr. William P. Brown
Professor of Old Testament Language, Literature, and Exegesis
Columbia Theological Seminary

Bill Brown is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Besides his position at Columbia Theological Seminary, he has taught at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and at Emory University. He is the author of several books and numerous essays on biblical interpretation and theology, including The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder (Oxford University); Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor (WJK); and Ecclesiastes (WJK), as well as editor of Engaging Biblical Authority (WJK). Bill is an avid Sunday School teacher and a founding member of Earth Covenant Ministry, an emerging organization of Presbyterian churches in the Atlanta area dedicated to creation care. Gail and Bill have two daughters, Ella and Hannah.

CV or Resume: Brown_William 2010.pdf

Free and open to the public. No preregistration is required. For more information contact Deb Olsen, 651.255.6168.

The Gustafson Lectures are an endowed lectureship that brings to campus an internationally recognized scholar in biblical studies for the presentation of two original lectures. The lectureship is made possible by an endowment established with gifts from Nancy and Andris Baltins, Philip and Carol Duff, and generous alums in honor of emeritus professor Henry A. Gustafson for his contributions to the academic life of United as a teacher and scholar of New Testament studies.

Lecturers have included Brian K. Blount, John Dominic Crossan, Cain Hope Felder, Terence E. Fretheim, Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Norman K. Gottwald, Bernard M. Levinson, Dale B. Martin, Sharon Ringe, Calvin J. Roetzel, Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, James Sanders, Luise Schottroff, Krister Stendahl, Marvin Sweeney, and Mary Ann Tolbert.

Picard Lectures in Environmental Theology and Ethics

MOST RECENT LECTURES (next lecture dates TBD)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011, 11:00 AM
THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011, 11:00 AM

Bigelow Chapel

Loving God’s Creation: Stewardship, Advocacy, & Sustainability

May 4 - “Thinking Beyond Empire”
May 5 - “Durable and Respectable Economics”

Winona LaDuke is a Native American activist, environmentalist, economist and writer. She received a degree in rural economic development from Harvard and a M.A. in community economic development from Antioch University. She has worked as a high school principal and activist and ran for Vice President as the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000.

LaDuke is executive director of Honor the Earth, an organization she co-founded with the Indigo Girls. The mission of the Native-led organization is “…to create awareness and support for Native environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and Indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard.”

LaDuke is the author of several books, including Last Standing Woman, All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life and Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming.

Parking is free. For more information contact Deb Olsen, 651.255.6168.

The Picard Lectures in Environmental Theology and Ethics are supported by an endowment made possible through the generosity of United alumnus The Rev. Frank Picard and members of the Picard family. The purpose of the lectureship is to explore questions and issues concerning the state of the creation from theological and ethical perspectives. The lectureship seeks to raise questions such as the relation between our spiritual life and the state of the natural world and the response of religious leadership to the decline of the planet. In establishing the endowment, the Picard family especially wishes to remember the deep appreciation for God’s creation they shared with the late David and Roland Picard.

Lecturers have included Larry Rasmussen and Judith Scoville.

Would you like to be on a mailing list for any of these lecture series? Contact Renee Flesner, 651.255.6138.

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Cindi Beth Johnson

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