Yale Divinity School to Hold Fall Convocation; Niebuhr Hall to be Dedicated

Yale University Divinity School, together with the Berkeley Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale, will hold a Convocation titled “For the Love of God: Three Hundred Years of Theological Education,” October 1-4.

The Convocation, which is part of the celebration of Yale’s Tercentennial, will include lectures by distinguished current and former Yale faculty members. On Tuesday, October 2, at 8 p.m., a portion of the renovated Sterling Divinity Quadrangle will be dedicated as H. Richard Niebuhr Hall. Niebuhr Hall contains a 150-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities. As part of the dedication ceremonies, James Gustafson, the Woodruff Professor Emeritus of Comparative Studies and Religion at Emory University, will lecture on “Christ and Culture: An Appreciative Interpretation.”

Niebuhr (1894-1962), one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century, earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Yale in 1923 and his Ph.D. from Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1924. After ordination in the Evangelical and Reformed Church, he taught at Eden Theological Seminary before becoming president of Elmhurst College, 1924-27. He joined the faculty of Yale Divinity School in 1931 and in 1954 was named the Sterling Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics. Niebuhr’s early thinking was influenced by the work of Kierkegaard and Barth; later, he focused on the personal nature of man’s relationship to God and the role of a Christian in contemporary society. Among his publications are “The Meaning of Revelation” (1941), “Christ and Culture” (1951), “The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry” (1956) and “Radical Monotheism and Western Culture” (1960).

The Convocation will also feature a series of endowed lectures. All speakers are faculty members at Yale, unless otherwise noted.

Bainton Lecture, “Antislavery for the Love of God: New Haven and the Campaign for Africa,” by Lamin Sanneh, the D. Willis James Professor of World Christianity and professor of history, October 1, 7:30 p.m.;

Beecher Lectures, “What’s Good About This News?” by David L. Bartlett, dean of academic affairs and the Lantz Professor of Preaching and Communication, October 1, 2, 3 at 4 p.m.;

Ensign and Sorenson Lectures, “Death Be Not Humble” and “Death Be Not Proud,” by Margaret A. Farley, the Gilbert Stark Professor of Christian Ethics, and Thomas P. Duffy, professor of internal medicine, October 4, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.;

Kavanagh Lecture, “Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice: On the Seriousness of Christian Liturgy,” by John F. Baldovin, S.J., professor of historical and liturgical theology at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Massachusetts, Oct. 2, 1:30 p.m.;

Pitt Lecture, “Berkeley, Liturgical Scholars and the Liturgical Movement,” by Bryan D. Spinks, professor of liturgical studies, October 3, 1:30 p.m.;

Taylor Lectures, “The Place of Religion in the Secular University,” by Nicholas Wolterstorff, the Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, October 2, 3, 4 at 10:30 a.m.

The Convocation is also an alumni reunion for the schools and institute. Most events will be held in Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect Street. The Beecher and Taylor lectures will be held at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 305 Saint Ronan Street.

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Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325