Thurber Lecture Archives

Thurber Lecture — Prof. Mark Burrows

Heart-Work of Love: Meister Eckhart’s Vision of Wholeness in a Time of Fragmentation
Wednesday 24 January in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Prof. Mark Burrows“The eye with which I see God is exactly the same eye with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowledge, one love.” One seeing: this is the key to faithful living. One knowledge: this is a theme central to the writings of Meister Eckhart (d. 1328), which speaks prophetically to a hurried culture like ours, riddled with brokenness and burdened with anxiety. One love: if we could find a way to live into this, personally and as a society, we would be healthier and happier. The challenge is putting such a depth-vision into practice. This talk offers the opportunity to do just this: to drink deeply from the wellspring of a vision like Eckhart’s that invites us to “make all things new,” beginning with our own lives. Courageous and even audacious, Eckhart’s language was well ahead of his times, offering us the kind of wisdom we need to live into the “new” life that faith promises. Such a vision, anticipating the reformers’ later emphasis on radical grace, embodies Jesus’ sense that “eternal life” invites us to live into ever deeper love—here and now. Come to taste the fruit of this bold visionary. Expect the stirrings of transformation.

Prof. Mark Burrows, Ph.D. is well-known internationally for his writings and as a lecturer and retreat leader. A published poet with a doctorate in historical theology, he has devoted his energies as teacher and scholar to the intersection of theology and the arts, above all as mediated by the mystics. These offer us what he describes as “the most practical and life-changing sources” in our tradition. Currently professor of theology and literature at the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany, he is the author (with Jon Sweeney) of a recent book of poems inspired by Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart. Meditations for the Restless Soul (Hampton House, 2017), a title one reviewer recently described as “brimming with passion, originality, and depth”.

 Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

Thurber Lecture — Dr. Judith Wolfe

C.S. Lewis and New Creation
Tuesday 5 December in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Dr. Judith WolfeMany of C.S. Lewis's stories – Narnia, Perelandra, The Great Divorce, Till We Have Faces -- are inspired by images of new creation. We will be discussing what makes these images so rich and vibrant, and how they shape C.S. Lewis's Christian outlook. We will discuss the ideas – both religious and literary – that Lewis draws upon in crafting these images of new creation, and how they can inspire us, too, as we seek to shape our life and our world according to God's promise.

Dr. Judith Wolfe is Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. She studied literature and philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and first literature and then philosophical theology at Oxford. Before moving to St Andrews, she taught at Bard College Berlin and at St John's College, Oxford. Her work is on Christian eschatology and on the interfaces between philosophy, theology and literature. She has a particular love for C.S. Lewis and the Inklings, on whom she has co-edited three books (C.S. Lewis and the Church, C.S. Lewis's Perelandra: Reshaping the Image of the Cosmos, and C.S. Lewis and his Circle) and edits an academic journal, The Journal of Inklings Studies.

 Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

Thurber Lecture — Dr. Anne Marie Reijnen

Astrobiology
Thursday 16 November in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Dr. Anne Marie ReijnenAstrobiology is the quest for life in the Universe and the study of life from a planetary perspective; it is a new scientific field based on the collaboration between different 'hard sciences' such as astronomy, geology, and biology. When it raises questions of meaning and purpose, the confrontation with theology becomes indispensable and stimulating. We will discuss the new meaning of the ancient theme of the plurality of inhabited worlds. Finally, we will ask: What do we mean by the question " Are we alone in the universe?"

 Anne Marie Reijnen (b.1957 in Utrecht) is a Protestant theologian. In 2015-2016, she was in residence at the Centre for Theological Inquiry in Princeton (New Jersey) to participate in the "Inquiry on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology " funded by NASA. She currently holds the Kairos Chair for Ecumenical theology at the Catholic University in Paris, after several years of ministry in the parish and of teaching as the professor for Systematic theology at the FUTP in Brussels. Dr. Reijnen is the past President of the French-speaking Paul Tillich Society and has been a commissioner of Faith and Order (WCC). Since 2011 she is a member of the Groupe des Dombes.

 Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

Thurber Lecture — Prof. Keith Ward

Modern Cosmology and Jesus
Thursday 21 September in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Prof. Keith Ward Prof. Keith Ward (Emeritus Professor of Divinity, Oxford University; Professorial Research Fellow, Heythrop College)

Since 1922 our view of the universe has changed completely. Before then we knew nothing of other galaxies, of the 'Big Bang', or of the age of the universe. Does this affect the Gospel of Jesus. Dr. Ward thinks it does, and that it calls for a new Reformation, in which the cosmic status of Christ is fully affirmed, and in which the Gospel becomes relevant in new and unexpected ways.

The Rev. Professor Keith Ward is an Anglican priest, theologian, and philosopher. From 1991 to 2004, Dr. Ward was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University in England, and is a Fellow of the British Academy. Among Dr. Ward's many interests are the dialogue between religions and the relationship between science and religion. The author of over 20 books on theology and philosophy, Dr. Ward's publications include: The Big Questions in Science and Religion (2008), The God Conclusion (2009), More than Matter (2010), Is Religion Irrational (2011), The Evidence for God (2014) and Christ and the Cosmos: a Reformulation of Trinitarian doctrine (2015). Forthcoming books: Love is His Meaning (2017) and The Christian Idea of God: a Philosophical Foundation for Faith (2017).
 

Read more about Keith Ward at www.keithward.org.uk

Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

 

Thurber Lecture — Rev. Dr. Greg Boyd

Cross Vision: Making Sense of the Old Testament’s Violent Portraits of God
Wednesday 25 October in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Rev. Dr. Greg Boyd

The kingdom of God revolution is most fundamentally predicated on people having a beautiful, Christ-like conception of God. One of the greatest challenges to this beautiful vision are the many violent portraits of God in the Old Testament. Boyd will, therefore, be offering his reflections on how as Christians we can reject violence as a divine characteristic and embrace the whole of the Bible as God’s inspired Word.

Rev. Dr. Greg Boyd received his Ph. D. from Princeton Theological Seminary (1988), his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (1982), and his B.A. from the University of Minnesota (1979). He was a professor of theology for 16 years at Bethel University (St. Paul, MN) where he received the Teaching Excellence Award and Campus Leadership Award. He continues to teach as an adjunct professor at Bethel University as well as Fresno Pacific Mennonite Seminary (Fresno, CA). Greg is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church (Maplewood, MN) and the President of Reknew Ministries (Reknew.org).
 
Greg is an internationally recognized theologian, preacher, teacher, apologist, and author. He has authored or co-authored twenty-two books, including his best-selling and award-winning Letters From a Skeptic and his most recent books Crucifixion of the Warrior God and Cross Vision. Greg’s ministry has been featured on the front page of The New York Times, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC, and numerous other television and radio venues. His primary vision is to help the Church become the Kingdom of outrageously loving servants that God called it to be and to help non-believers discover the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
 
Greg is an avid drummer in a rock band (“Not Dead Yet”) as well as a competitive race walker. Greg and his wife Shelley have been married for 37 years. They have three children and five grandchildren and live in community with several other families in St. Paul, Minnesota.
 

Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.