Rowan Williams is the 2016 DuBose Lecturer

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The annual DuBose Lectures will be held on Sept. 28 and 29 on the campus of the University of the South's School of Theology. This year the School of Theology welcomes Dr. Rowan Williams as the esteemed guest lecturer. All lectures will take place in Guerry Auditorium. The lectures are free thanks to the support of the DuBose Lectures Fund. They are open to the public.

Bonhoeffer Revisited: from Christology to Politics

Dietrich Bonhoeffer still attracts attention and admiration as a thinker and as a Christian witness. There has been much excellent new biographical study but some aspects of his theology still need drawing out. During the 1930s, even as he was shaping his responses to the political crisis of the age, he continued to wrestle with the theological roots of public commitment. These lectures will look at developments in his thinking in the hope of clarifying how he saw his resistance to political tyranny not just as a matter of discipleship in general, but as the center-point of a Christological politics.

Sept. 28, 9 a.m.—Lecture 1, Modern Christology and the Reformation Legacy

Bonhoeffer, in his Christological lectures, very deliberately constructs a story of how Christology develops in the early and Reformation periods. He is, in fact, part of a wider reassessment of the Reformation legacy, as can be seen when we compare his lectures with Karl Barth’s theological concerns. Bonhoeffer seeks to find a path between Lutheran and Calvinist models in order to do full justice to what he sees as the basic question—not “how is Christ possible?” but “who is it that confronts me in Jesus?”

Sept. 28, 1:45 p.m.—Lecture 2, Bonhoeffer’s Christology: Christ For Me

Bonhoeffer’s Christ is the one who exists “for me”—that is, we cannot speak or think about him except in the context of my recognition that I am judged and transformed here. But this also implies a profoundly non-coercive role for Jesus; we are judged—forcefully and irresistibly—yet we are also invited to recognize that the God we meet is the one who makes us radically free for relation with the divine agent and with each other.

Sept. 29, 9 a.m.—Lecture 3, Bonhoeffer’s Ethics: Representing Humanity in Christ

That relation with God and each other is fleshed out further in the fragments of Bonhoeffer’s Ethics—which he intended to be his major work. Here the model of Christ’s being for others is translated as the call to take responsibility without qualification for the needs of the public world; to be willing to be in any and every circumstance a voice for the silenced other, and so to accept that discipleship is an unceasing being there on behalf of the other as Christ is unequivocally there on behalf of all of us. Bonhoeffer’s Christological vision both dissolves and reassembles the elements of classical doctrinal debate in order to build up a fresh account of where a genuinely Christian ethics must begin, in private and public life alike.

Sept. 29, 1:30 p.m.—An Open Conversation with Williams and Alexander

In addition to the three lectures that Williams will deliver as part of the DuBose lectures, the School of Theology will host an open conversation between Williams and the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, dean of the School of Theology, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Guerry Auditorium. The conversation will be live-streamed and the School will be accepting questions from the audience as well as from Twitter. This presentation is open to the public and free of charge.

Guerry Auditorium