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2007 Convocation Lectures:

Lyman Beecher Lectures • Peter S. Hawkins

The Preacher’s Divine Comedy

     I. The Preacher in Hell

    II. The Preacher in Purgatory

   III. The Preacher in Paradise

Peter S. Hawkins has his B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in English from Yale, where he taught at the Divinity School for 24 years (1976-2000). He is presently professor of religion at Boston University, where he oversees the graduate specialization in Religion and Literature and directs the Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts. His work on American fiction can be found in The Language of Grace (2004) and the four volumes of Listening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith (co-edited with Paula Carlson, 2003). Hawkins's writing has long centered on Dante: Dante's Testaments: Essays in Scriptural Imagination (1999), The Poets' Dante: Twentieth-Century Reflections (co-edited with Rachel Jacoff in 2001), and Dante: A Brief History (2006). His essays have dealt with such topics as memory and memorials, the NAMES Project Quilt, televangelism, and the afterlife of the Bible in literature. In 2006, Boston University awarded him the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Nathaniel Taylor Lectures • Linda E. Thomas

Theology and Anthropology from a Womanist Perspective

     I. The Aesthetic Dimensions of Religion in South Africa

    II. Structural Poverty in and HIV-Positive World, a Theology of Embodiment: What the Mind

         Forgets the Body Remembers

   III. Anthropology, Mission and the African Woman: A Womanist Theological Approach

Linda E. Thomas has engaged students, scholars and communities as a scholar for almost 20 years. She studies, researches, writes, speaks and teaches about the intersection and mutual influence of culture and religion. Her work is rooted in a Womanist perspective. Thomas has taught in the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, ethics and theology. She has served on the faculty at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. At the Garrett, she also served as the director of the Center of the Church and the Black Experience. Currently, Thomas serves as full professor at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. She has served as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, and Drew University. Her first book, Under the Canopy: Ritual Process and Spiritual Resilience in South Africa (1999), explores the everyday lives of black South Africans trapped by systems of structural poverty and the ways religion and culture fueled their resilience during the apartheid era. Her second book, Living Stones in the Household of God (2004), is a collection of essays about Black Theology in the new millennium. Thomas edited the book and contributed two essays. She has published dozens of articles in academic journals and contributed essays to several scholarly books. Thomas has a Ph.D. in anthropology from The American University in Washington D.C. and an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary.


Aidan J. Kavanagh Lecture (ISM) • Nathan D. Mitchell

From Text to Tablature: Reimagining Liturgical Language Today

Nathan D. Mitchell, the associate director for research and publications at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Liturgy, holds a B.A. from St. Meinrad College, an M.A. in religious studies from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Notre Dame. A writer, and lecturer, Mitchell teaches in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. His books include Cult and Controversy (1982); Mission and Ministry: History and theology in the Sacrament of Order (1982); Eucharist as Sacrament of Initiation (1994);  Liturgy and the Social Sciences (1999); Real Presence: The Work of the Eucharist (2001); and, most recently, Meeting Mystery: Liturgy, Worship, Sacraments (2006). Since 1991, his column, The Amen Corner, has appeared in each issue of the journal WORSHIP. In recognition of his contributions to the field of liturgical studies, Mitchell has received the Berakah Award (from the North American Academy of Liturgy in 1998), the Sophia Award (from Washington Theological Union in 2005); and the Frederick R. McManus Award (from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in 2006).  In 2003, colleagues celebrated Mitchell’s 60th birthday with a Festschrift entitled Ars Liturgiae: Worship, Aesthetics, and Praxis: Essays in Honor of Nathan D. Mitchell, edited by Clare V. Johnson (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2003).


Louis Wetherbee Pitt Lecture (BDS) • Jane Williams

Sin and Salvation

Jane Williams was born in India, one of five sisters. She read theology at the University of Cambridge. She then worked in theological publishing and education, publishing, among other things, Bread, Wine and Women (with Sue Dowell, 1994); Perfect Freedom (2003); Lectionary Reflections (2003, 2004, and 2005); Approaching Christmas (2006); and, more recently, Approaching Easter (2006). She has also written a Sunday readings column for the Church Times newspaper and now works part-time for Redemptorist Publications, as a visiting lecturer at King’s College, London and as a lecturer at the St. Paul’s Theological Centre. Since 1981 she has been married to Archbishop Rowan Williams. They have a son and a daughter.

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