Lectures by noted theologians will once again highlight the annual Convocation of the Divinity School and the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, which this year will be held Monday-Thursday, Oct. 12-15.
In keeping with tradition, the Convocation will be built around two distinguished lecture series, the Lyman Beecher Lectures and the Shaffer Lectures. These and the other Convocation talks will be presented in Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect St.
Beecher Lectures. The convocation will open on Monday at 4 p.m. with the first of three Beecher Lectures on the theme "The Texture of Biblical Preaching: Songs, Letters and Stories," which will be presented by the Reverend Peter J. Gomes of The Memorial Church, Harvard University, author of the best-seller "Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart" and the recently released "Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living."
"Protestant preaching pretends to be Biblical, but generally is neglectful of the varieties of Biblical experience," says Gomes, who is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard. "These lectures propose to reinvestigate the textures of Biblical literature from the Psalms, the epistles, and the Gospels for a more integrated view of the Biblical resources for comprehensive teaching and preaching in the contemporary pulpit." The second and third Beecher Lectures will be presented at 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. During his stay at Yale, Gomes will also deliver the Sunday morning sermon during the weekly University Public Worship Service on Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. in Battell Chapel, corner of Elm and College streets.
Shaffer Lectures. "Christology in Context: The Pastoral Epistles" will be the theme of the three Shaffer Lectures that will be delivered by Abraham Malherbe, the Buckingham Professor Emeritus of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation at the Divinity School. These talks will be presented at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
"The christology of the letters to Timothy and Titus usually receives short shrift," writes Malherbe. "Although they are shot through with traditional christological formulations, the letters do not develop christology as a theme. Indeed, since the letters are thought to be concerned primarily with church order, not much christological reflection is expected, and therefore none is found." The professor believes, however, that investigation of the social and intellectual contexts of the letters reveals something quite different -- that the author of these letters employs moral philosophical traditions in reflecting on the human condition and develops a christology that emphasizes God's initiative in saving people through Christ, who then educates them in personal and social behavior.
Featured speakers. In addition, the convocation will include lectures by the following distinguished scholars:
Frank Turner, the John Hay Whitney Professor of History, who will examine the interplay of commerce and money in the Oxford Movement in the Church of England (1833-1845) in the Bainton Lecture, titled "John Henry Newman, E.B. Pusey and the Commerce of Religion in the Oxford Movement" (8 p.m., Monday).
Jean Elshtain, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at The University of Chicago, who in the Ensign Lecture, "The Sin of Pride and the Triumph of Economics" (1:30 p.m. on Thursday), will explore the theological understanding of pride, linking it with the spirit of economic triumphalism of the present, not just as a cultural phenomenon, but as a way of thinking and "being" in the world that has troubling, perhaps sinful, consequences.
The Very Reverend Stephen Platten, dean of Norwich, who will deliver the Cheney Lecture, titled "Lambeth 1998: Can Anglicanism Survive?" (1:30 p.m., Tuesday). Platten will address the role of the Lambeth conference in the continuance of Anglicanism as a communion. He will also discuss the affect of theological, ecclesiological, and pastoral and moral teachings on the life of the Communition and the authority patterns within it.
"AIDS and Spirituality." "I am also delighted to announce," notes Divinity School Dean Richard J. Wood, "that we have added the Templeton Lecture, titled 'AIDS and Spirituality,' to the convocation schedule." The year's lecture will take the form of a panel discussion moderated by Letty Russell, professor of theology and author of "The Church with AIDS: Renewal in the Midst of Crisis." Panelists will include Dr. Nancy Angoff, clinical professor of internal medicine and associate dean of students at the School of Medicine; Peter Laarman, senior minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City; and Dr. Peter Selwyn, associate director of AIDS Programs at the medical school. "AIDS and Spirituality" will take place on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Divinity School auditorium, 409 Prospect St.
Admission to the convocation is free with a Yale I.D. Members of the public may register on site beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12. A registration fee of $25 includes all lectures, morning coffee, and all receptions during the convocation. Persons attending only part of the convocation are asked to make an appropriate donation in lieu of the registration fee. A complete schedule for the week can be obtained by phoning the Divinity School's Office of Graduate and External Relations at 432-5033.