DuBose Lectures & Alumni Gathering
Oct. 2 and 3, 2019
2019 DuBose Lectures & Alumni Gathering
Dr. Emilie Townes will be the School of Theology's 2019 guest lecturer, continuing the three year series on the theme of racial reconciliation. The first lecturer in the series, Dr. Charles Marsh, ended his third lecture by playing Bernice Reagon’s version of “Come and Go with Me (to that Land),” a gospel song from 1930. The lyrics of the song—We’re all together in that land where I’m bound, There’s no more hatred in that land—served as a poignant reminder of the hope Marsh’s work encourages us to find in both the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and in the Civil Rights Movement: the revivification of the spirit that allows us to truly comprehend the shared humanity of all people on earth, and to believe in the possibility of both redemption and reconciliation.
Here is what some our our attendees had to say about Marsh's lectures:
- "I am thankful for having attended the lectures this year to hear Dr. Charles Marsh speak as a man who grew up a southern Baptist in Mississippi. His lectures on the struggle of faith and social justice, the opportunity to gather with new students, and to see the faculty was the perfect setting in which to learn and grow in faith." – Abi Moon, T’11
- “I was especially moved by his discussion of Fannie Lou Hamer and Marsh's discussion of the Civil Rights movement. He impressed upon me the need to make racism and reconciliation central to the Church. It has inspired me to explore how the Beecken Center may develop materials to address racism and foster reconciliation.” – Sheri Kling
- “I believe God is calling me to be active in racial reconciliation and Dr. Marsh’s lectures gave me a new perspective from which to work.” – Margaret K. Zeller, T'02
- “Dr. Marsh’s lectures reminded me that it's the little day-to-day things we do to promote racial reconciliation and counter acts of racism that make a difference locally.” – John Simmons
- “Dr. Marsh's approach to the topic of reconciliation was unlike any I have ever heard. His careful interweaving of Bonhoeffer and King and his seemingly 'aside' commentaries gave me more to think about than I was expecting!” – Susan Bear, T’94, T’07
- “I learned so much about the background of some of the things I saw growing up in rural Alabama. I now feel equipped to take these lessons into my seminary studies and look at the texts with new eyes.” – Marie Smith, T’21
- “Dr. Marsh's connection of Bonhoeffer's experiences of racism in the U.S. in the early 1930s with his recognition of ethnic and culture racism in the early days of the National Socialist Movement of post 1933 Germany under Hitler was breath-taking. Using Bonhoeffer's critique of both Germany as a culture and the German Church in its failure to speak out is profoundly relevant to the questions the Episcopal Church must be asking today.” – Stan Runnels, T’03, T’12
- “Aside from the intellectual and spiritual renewal that comes from returning to the mountain for the DuBose lectures, Charles Marsh demonstrated how we can look to our past to influence our actions in the present.” – Michael McCain, T16
If you have a question about a DuBose event, either past or future, you can fill out this short form and we will get right back to you!
2019 DuBose Lecturer
Dr. Emilie M. Townes, an American Baptist clergywoman, is a native of Durham, North Carolina. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Religion in Society and Personality from Northwestern University. Townes is the dean and Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, becoming the first African American to serve as dean of the Divinity School in 2013. She is the former Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale University Divinity School and in the fall of 2005, she was the first African American woman elected to the presidential line of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and served as president in 2008. She was the first African American and first woman to serve as associate dean for academic affairs in the Yale Divinity School. She is the former Carolyn Williams Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and professor of social ethics at Saint Paul School of Theology.
Editor of two collection of essays, A Troubling in My Soul: Womanist Perspectives on Evil and Suffering and Embracing the Spirit: Womanist Perspectives on Hope, Salvation, and Transformation; she has also authored Womanist Ethics, Womanist Hope, In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness, Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health Issues and a Womanist Ethic of Care, and her groundbreaking book, Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil. She is co-editor with Stephanie Y. Mitchem of the Faith, Health, and Healing in African American Life. Her most recent co-editorship is Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader done with Katie Geneva Cannon and Angela Sims was published in November 2011. She continues her research on women and health in the African diaspora in Brasil and the United States. Townes was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. She served a four-year term as president of the Society for the Study of Black Religion from 2012 to 2016.
About the 2019 Lectures
“Premeditated Indifference: Facing (In)Justice With the Power of Hope”
Sometimes the power of hope is all that sustains us when we look at the world around us and ask, “How did we get ourselves into such deep divisions?” Rather than turn away from the challenges that this question poses, these lectures will explore how we can use hope as both solace for our souls and a call to action in our public witness.
2018 DuBose Lectures
Can I Get a Witness?
Explorations in an Amen
1. Aristocrats of Responsibility: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Quest for a New Nobility
2. “Better than Church”: The Civil Rights Movement and Religionless Christianity
3. Visions of Amen: On the Judgment of God and the Splendor of the World
About Our 2018 Lecturer
Charles Marsh is professor of religious studies and director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and the University of Virginia, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1989.
Shortly after publishing Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Promise of His Theology (Oxford, 1994), Marsh began considering the religious and moral paradoxes of his own southern Protestant upbringing. He was struck by the complex ways theological commitments and convictions came into dramatic conflict in the civil rights movement in the American South. The religious beliefs and social practices of ordinary people of faith illuminated a new way of writing theology for him, the first fruit being God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights (Princeton, 1997) which won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.
His memoir, The Last Days: A Son’s Story of Sin and Segregation at the Dawn of a New South (Basic Books, 2001), is a coming of age account of a minister’s son in a small Mississippi town that was home to the Christian terrorist organization called the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
His 2005 book, The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today (Basic Books), developed a new interpretation of the Civil Rights Movement based on Martin Luther King Jr.’s remark that “the end [of the movement] is not the protest, the end is not the boycott; the end is redemption, reconciliation and the creation of beloved community.”
In 2007, Marsh wrote a theological analysis of the Christian Right’s support of the presidency of George W. Bush entitled Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity (Oxford, June 2007), which was excerpted in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and the Boston Globe.
Marsh is delighted to have co-authored a book with his lifelong friend, the civil rights activist John M. Perkins. Welcoming Justice: God’s Movement Toward Beloved Community was published by InterVarsity Press in fall 2009 and is based on lectures delivered during the Teaching Communities Conference at the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation.
Marsh, a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts, served as the Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow at the American Academy of Berlin in spring 2010. His most recent book, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Knopf, 2014), received the 2015 Christianity Today Book Award in History/Biography
The DuBose Awards, at one time known as the Faithful Alum Award and the DuBose Award for Service, have been restructured to broaden the award categories and invite nominations from across the Church. The awards celebrate the ministries of both laypersons and clergy. Nominations are received from October to end of May the following year and the recipient(s) will be announced during the annual DuBose Alumni Gathering banquet. You may submit a nomination using this form.
In order to submit a nomination, the nominee must either be:
- an ordained member of the Episcopal clergy
- a layperson who is a communicant in good standing of an Episcopal congregation
Note: One award per category will be given per year.
- DuBose Award for Congregational Development: Candidates will have started a new mission or increased membership in existing parish.
- DuBose Award for Social Justice: Candidates will have made a significant difference in transforming unjust structures and promoted peace and reconciliation in their community.
- DuBose Award for Care of Creation: Candidates will have demonstrated commitment to the physical environment by utilizing parish resources to sustain and renew the life of the earth.
- DuBose Award for Service: Candidates will have exhibited distinguished service to The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, or the church ecumenical on behalf thereof.
The DuBose Award Committee will review submissions and choose awardees. Awardee(s) will be notified in August.
Questions may be directed to Sukey Byerly, by email or phone, 931.598.1217.