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Speaking of Faith host to deliver Cheney Lecture at Convocation and Reunions

TippettKrista Tippett, creator and host of public radio’s popular Speaking of Faith program—will deliver the Francis X. Cheney Lecture during Convocation and Reunions 2008, Oct. 13-16.  Joining Tippett as featured lecturers are biblical scholar and Something Within faith blogger Renita Weems (Beecher Lectures); Oxford University theologian Christopher Rowland (Shaffer Lectures); and Oriental churches scholar Robert Taft (Kavanagh Lecture).

Tippett, the author of Speaking of Faith—Why Religion Matters and How to Talk About It, has hosted her Peabody Award-winning radio program at American Public Media since its inception as an occasional series in 2000.  It is now broadcast weekly and can be heard globally via podcast and internet and over 200 public radio stations in the United States.  In the 1980s, Tippett reported for international media in divided Berlin in the 1980s and was later special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to West Germany.  The title of her Cheney Lecture, sponsored by Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, is Religion, Media, and Public Life in the 21st Century.

Weems, a widely sought-after lecturer, was on the divinity faculty at Vanderbilt University as professor of Hebrew Bible from 1987 to 2004 and was the Camille Cosby Visiting Professor of Humanities at Spelman College in Atlanta from 2003-2005.  She writes a popular bi-monthly e-column for Beliefnet and has a blog at www.somethingwithin.com/blog.  Her three Beecher Lectures will be on the topic Preaching Against the Grain: Recovering the Voices of Those from the Underside of History.

Christopher Rowland is Dean Ireland’s Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture in the University of Oxford and a fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.  His research and writing has been concerned with the history of apocalypticism, and he has a long-standing interest in Latin American Liberation theology.  For the three Kent Shaffer Lectures, he has chosen the topic From Impulse Not from Rules: the Life, Character, and Teachings of Jesus in the Light of the Prophecy, Poetry and Art of William Blake.

Robert F. Taft is a Jesuit priest ordained in the Byzantine Slavonic Rite and is founder and editor-in-chief of Anaphorae Orientales.  He is professor emeritus of Oriental liturgy at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he served as vice rector from 1995-2001.The author of over 800 works in English, French, and Italian, he serves as consultor for liturgy of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches.  The topic of his Aidan J. Kavanagh Lecture, sponsored by the Institute of Sacred Music, is Mrs. Murphy Goes to Moscow: Kavanagh, Schmemann, and the "Byzantine Synthesis.”

Worship service leaders for 2008 include Troy W. Messenger ’83 M.A.R., liturgist and worship director at Union Theological Seminary; Jeffrey Haggray ’88 M.Div., executive director/minister, District of Columbia Baptist Convention; Scott Black Johnston ’89 M.Div., senior pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Atlanta; Betsy Anderson ’97 M.A.R., associate for pastoral ministry, The Parish of St. Mathew, Pacific Palisades, CA; and Carol Wade, ’03 M.Div., ’04 S.T.M., canon precentor, Washington National Cathedral.

Innovations to Convocation and Reunions 2008 include the offering of special  “breakout” sessions, featuring a student panel on life at YDS and a Q&A session with 2008 Alumni Award honorees.

Though specific classes will be celebrating reunions, all alumni are welcome to register for Convocation.  This year’s registration deadline is Sept. 29.  Registration forms are available online, as is an up-to-date listing of alumni who have already registered, at:

Reunion classes for 2008 are 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, and 1983.  “Cluster” reunions will be held for the classes of 1967, 1968, 1969; 1987, 1988, 1989; and 2002, 2003, 2004.

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