Talks and Music Will Highlight Annual Divinity School Convocation

Lectures on the “sound of the sermon” and music by a father-daughter duo featuring one of the Indigo Girls will be among the events highlighting the annual Yale Divinity School Convocation and Reunions, to be held Monday-Thursday, Oct. 12-15.

This year’s featured speakers will be distinguished homiletics professor Eugene Lowry, German theologian Michael Welker, language and liturgical expert Gabriele Winkler, and the Right Reverend Trevor Mwamba, Anglican bishop of Botswana.

All the lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be held at the Divinity School, 409 Prospect St.


Sound of the sermon

Lowry will deliver the Lyman Beecher Lectures on the subject “Keeping Time with the Word: The Sound of the Sermon.” His three speeches are titled “Time After Time: The Three Levels of Narrativity,” “Encountering the Aristotle Blues: A Jazz Homiletic of Narrative Address and Piano Improvisation” and “Recovering the Voices(s) of Orality.” The Beecher Lectures will begin at 4 p.m. in Marquand Chapel Oct. 12-14.

Lowry taught for 30 years at the Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City and also taught at Princeton Theological Seminary and The Theological School of Drew University. He was featured in the Hallmark television series “Great Preachers” in 2000. In the spring of 2008, he was honored with a festschrift volume, “What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching?”


Theology and science discourse

Welker’s Nathaniel Taylor Lectures are on the topic “Theology and Science Discourse on Anthropology.” His three talks are titled: “What Can Theology Contribute to the Theology and Science Discourse?” “Flesh-Body-Heart-Soul-Spirit: Exploring the Depth of the Human Person” and “The Human Being in His/Her Relation to the Sustaining, Saving and Ennobling God: Spiritual Realism in the Theology and Science Discourse.” The Taylor Lectures will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Marquand Chapel Oct. 13-15.

Welker has taught at the University of Tübingen, the University of Münster and the University of Heidelberg. Over the years, he has been instrumental in organizing many projects of international and interdisciplinary cooperation. Since 2006, he has been building the Global Network of Research Centers for Theology, Religious and Christian Studies.


St. Basil and St. James

Winkler’s Aidan J. Kavanagh Lecture, sponsored by the Institute of Sacred Music, will be on the subject “Some New Considerations Concerning the Relationship between the liturgies of St. Basil and St. James.” The lecture will be held Oct. 13 in the Great Hall of the institute, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Winkler has published widely in several languages in a variety of scholarly periodicals and series on the subjects of liturgy, patristic, church history and the development of the creeds. Currently, she is preparing a study that includes a detailed investigation of the “Sancta sanctis” cycles in the various redactions of the Liturgy of Basil and of James.


God’s “wonder, grace and surprises”

Mwamba’s Louis Wetherbee Pitt Lecture, sponsored by Berkeley Divinity School, is titled “God of Wonder, Grace and Surprises.” It will begin at 2:30 p.m., Oct. 14, in Marquand Chapel.

In addition to his duties as bishop of Botswana, Mwamba sits on numerous boards and commissions, including the All Africa Conference of Churches General Committee, Transparency International in Botswana and the U.N. Civil Society Advisory Committee.


Music and conversation

The father-daughter team of church musician Don Saliers ‘62 B.D., ‘67 Ph.D. and Emily Saliers, one half of the pop group Indigo Girls, will host an evening of music and conversation exploring crossovers between the musical languages of Saturday night and Sunday morning. The event will be held on Oct. 13, beginning at 8 p.m., in Battell Chapel, corner of College and Elm streets. It is free and open to the public.

In 2004, Saliers and his daughter published a book together, “A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice,” part of publisher Jossey-Bass’ “The Practice of Faith Series.” Publishers Weekly said of the book, “Musicians, music-lovers and indeed all those devoted to the ‘spirituality of daily life’ will be inspired.” Booklist called the volume “a lovely meditation on the power of music.”

Don Saliers is retired from the Candler School of Theology, where he taught theology and worship; previously, he taught at Yale Divinity School in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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