A Surprising Authority: The Homiletical Legacy of Fred Craddock

April 20-21, 2017

Hosted by the School of Theology, Sewanee, Tennessee

In lectures, workshops, and worship, participants will explore and celebrate the legacy of the most important homiletician of our time—Fred Craddock.


Thomas B. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching Emeritus, Candler School of Theology

Teresa Fry Brown, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology

William F. Brosend, Professor of New Testament and Preaching, School of Theology

     "Preaching Truth in an Age of Alternative Facts—the enduring legacy of Overhearing the Gospel"


O. Wesley Allen, Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, Perkins School of Theology

"As One Without Authority"

Workshop Description: In 1970 Craddock challenged the current thinking on the authority of the preaching and how the sermon should be shaped in relation to that authority. In today’s evolving postmodern context, the authority of the preacher is challenged to an even greater extent and preaching must continue to evolve.

Michael Graves, Wm. K. McElvaney Professor of Preaching and Worship, St. Paul School of Theology

“The Magic of Craddock’s Stories” 

Workshop Description: Someone once joked that Fred Craddock sermons should come with a warning: “Professional at Work: Do Not Attempt on Your Own.” His style was like watching a magician at work, especially his use of stories. In his sermons, one moment we are in Galilee, the next moment in a grocery store in Atlanta. Preachers have always admired his use of stories, and in this interactive workshop, we will look at some of his techniques so that we might attempt them on our own.

Ronald J. Allen, Professor of Preaching and Gospels and Letters, Christian Theological Seminary

“The Evolution of a Homiletical Mind”

Workshop Description: This workshop will consider some ways the church and world have changed since the publication of As One Without Authority in 1971, and with how our thinking about preaching has evolved in the same period.

Ruthanna Hooke, Associate Professor of Preaching, Virginia Theological Seminary

"The Body's Authority"

Workshop Description: This workshop will investigate the theological grounding and the lived experience of the preacher's authority when the body is taken as the starting point in developing that authority. Craddock's construal of the preacher "as one without authority" remains helpful in looking at authority from an embodiment or performance perspective, though some elements of his thought are challenged from this perspective. In addition to considering these matters from a theoretical vantage point, this workshop will introduce physical practices that invite participants into an experience of embodied authority.


Thursday, April 20

9-11    Registration                                             Hamilton Hall

11:00  Holy Eucharist, Thomas Long, preacher      Chapel of the Apostles

12:15  Lunch                                                      Refectory, Hamilton Hall

1:30    Plenary One, Teresa Fry Brown                  Bairnwick Women's Center

2:45    Break

3:00    Workshops                                              Bairnwick Women's Center

4:15    Break

4:30    Plenary Two, William Brosend                   Bairnwick Women's Center

6:30    Reception and Banquet (cash bar)             Sewanee Inn

Friday, April 21

8:00    Continental Breakfast                               Bairnwick Women's Center

9:00     Workshops                                             Bairnwick Women's Center

10:15   Break

10:30    Plenary Three, Thomas Long                   Bairnwick Women's Center

Noon    Departure


We are not taking any more registrations as of April 19, 2017.


There are many options for accommodations in and around Sewanee.