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Center for Renewal Studies

Center for Renewal Studies

Lectures in Theological Studies Presenters

October 15, 2012

Occasional Lecturer in Theological Studies

Jörg Haustein, Research and Teaching Fellow at the Department of History of Religions and Mission Studies, Heidelberg University, Germany

Public lecture: October 15, 2012 - 3:00-4:30 PM
Title: "Embodying the Spirit(s): Pentecostal Demonology and Deliverance Discourse in Ethiopia"
Location: Robertson Hall 103, Regent University
Abstract: The lecture explores Pentecostal embodiment practices and concepts with regard to Holy Spirit baptism and demon possession. The studied material is connected to a specific and highly controversial debate in Ethiopian Pentecostalism, which revolves around the possibility of demon possession in born-again and Spirit-filled Christians. This debate runs through much of Ethiopian Pentecostal history and ultimately is concerned with whether or how Christians can be seen to host conflicting spiritual forces, in light of the strong dualism between God and evil in Pentecostal cosmology. The lecture shows that the embodiment of spirits and/or the Holy Spirit is related to theological concepts of the self, because these concepts define what may or may not be discerned in certain bodily manifestations. Moreover, Haustein contends that this debate thrives on a certain ambiguity in spirit embodiment, which invites the discernment of spiritual experts and thereby becomes a resource of power.

June 26, 2012

Occasional Lecturer in Theological Studies

Yolanda Pierce, Elmer G. Homrighausen Associate Professor of African American Religion and Literature, Princeton Theological Seminary

Bio: Yolanda Pierce is the Elmer G. Homrighausen Associate Professor of African American Religion and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Liaison with the Princeton University Center for African American Studies. Pierce earned her M.A. in English and African American Studies and her Ph.D. in English from Cornell University. A member of an Assemblies of God church, she serves on the executive committee for the Society of Literature and Religion and is a member of the Modern Language Association and the American Academy of Religion. Her area of research lies in African American literature and culture (spiritual and slave narratives, memoirs and autobiographies, and religious writing), religious studies (Black church traditions, womanist theology, and contemporary Black thought), and nineteenth-century American literature (race, religion, and early American culture). She teaches courses in African American religious history, womanist theology, and literature and religion.

Public lecture: June 26, 2012 - 3:00-4:30 PM
Title: "Still Small Voices: Black Women Writers, the Holy Spirit, and Affective Discourse"
Location: Library Auditorium
Abstract: African American women writers have created literary texts out of despair, anger, and anguish, but they have also created works of art that are acts of theology and prophetic witness. And their texts have reframed the discourse of anguish, despair, and anger so that they become powerful tools infused with the prophetic voice. What is the relationship between the creation of a literary text and the creation of theology? How is the Holy Spirit at work as these writers invoke their divine imaginations while creating fictional worlds? African American women writers, in their challenge and critique of both racism and sexism, provide the contemporary Christian church with a model for engaging the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to the "least of these." Using the writings of Pauli Murray, Margaret Walker, and Toni Morrison, I will engage literary fiction as a vehicle for affective and prophetic discourse.


June 18, 2012

Charles Holman Lecturer in Renewal Biblical Studies

James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham

Bio: James D. G. Dunn is a Scot brought up in Glasgow; married to Meta, with three children, and seven grandchildren. He has degrees in Economics & Statistics, and Theology from Glasgow University, with a PhD (1968) and DD (1991) from Cambridge. He was Lecturer/Reader at the University of Nottingham (1970-82); Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University (1982-2003); and appointed Fellow of the British Academy (2006). Author of numerous books and many articles, Dunn is now retired to Chichester, West Sussex, to be nearer daughters.

Public lecture: June 18, 2012 - 3:00-4:30 PM
Title: The Letter Kills, but the Spirit gives Life
Location: Library Auditorium
Abstract:'The Letter Kills, but the Spirit gives Life' (2 Cor. 3.6). What was Paul contrasting? To what was he referring as 'the letter'? Was it the same as the law or the Old Testament? How or why did the letter 'kill'? Should we translate 'spirit' or 'Spirit'? What is the life that is given? What are the implications of the contrast for Christian attitude to the 'old covenant', for hermeneutics, and for ministry?


February 21, 2012

Occasional Lecturer in Theological Studies

Roger E. Olson, Professor of Theology at Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Public lecture: February 21, 2012 - 3:00-4:30 PM
Title: Pietism and Pentecostalism: Spiritual Cousins or Competitors?
Location: Library Auditorium
Abstract: Pietism and Pentecostalism share many spiritual and theological features and yet the two are seldom linked together or compared favorably with each other. Pietism forms one of Pentecostalism's historical, spiritual and theological roots; Pentecostalism is one of Pietism's legacies to contemporary Christian renewal. While the Pietist movement predates Pentecostalism by centuries, the Pietist ethos lives on in Pentecostalism's lively sense of spiritual transformation as the essence of authentic Christianity. While the Pentecostal movement arose later than Pietism, the Pentecostal ethos can be found insipient in Pietism's core doctrine of spiritual transformation of the inner man as the center of Christian life. Together Pietism and Pentecostalism can rightly be regarded as one paradigm of authentic evangelical Christianity.

October 19, 2011

Vinson Synan Lecturer in History of Renewal Christianity

Robert L. Wilken, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of History of Christianity Emeritus, University of Virginia

Bio: Dr. Wilken is the author of 10 books, including The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (Yale, 2003), Remembering the Christian Past (Eerdmans, 1995), and The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (Yale, 1984). He is the translator, along with Paul Blowers, of On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ: Selected Writings from St. Maximus the Confessor (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2003), and editor of the Church's Bible, a series of biblical commentaries based on the writings of the church fathers (Eerdmans). Dr. Wilken is an elected fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, former president of the American Academy of Religion, former president of the North American Patristic Society, and current chair of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Religion and Public Life, the publisher of First Things.

Public lecture: October 19, 2011 - 3:00-4:30 PM
Title: Blessed Passion of Love: The Affections in the Church Fathers
Location: Library Auditorium
Abstract: Nothing is more characteristic of the Bible and Christian tradition than the language of the heart. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your might and with all your strength” (Matthew 22:37). “Unite my heart to fear thy name. I give thanks to thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart” (Ps 86:11-12). “You have made us for yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in you” (Augustine). That which unites us most intimately with Christ is not faith, nor hope, but love. In the early centuries the Song of Songs taught Christians how to use the language of love, i.e., of the affections, with respect to God. It provided a vocabulary and a series of images by which Christians could express their deepest feelings toward Christ. The lecture will discuss how the Song of Songs was interpreted by early Christian spiritual writers and how the affections came to play a central role in the life of faith and of prayer during the patristic period.

October 13, 2011

Occasional Lecturer in Theological Studies

James K. A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Congregational and Ministry Studies, Calvin College

Bio: James K.A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College where he also teaches in the department of congregational & ministry studies.  He is an award-winning author of a number of books including Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? (Baker Academic), Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Baker Academic), and Thinking in Tongues: Pentecostal Contributions to Christian Philosophy (Eerdmans).  He also serves as a Research Fellow of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and as Senior Fellow of The Colossian Forum.

Public lecture: October 13, 2011 - 3:00-4:30 PM
Title: "Redeeming the Affections: Deconstructing Augustine's Critique of Theatre"
Location: Library Auditorium
Abstract: Working within the framework of contemporary "affect theory," this paper will consider a unique tension in Augustine's Confessions.  On the one hand, Augustine's critique of theatre and drama is critical of the affective power of theatre as a passionate distraction of rationality.  On the other hand, the very force of the Confessions depends on an affective response to the literary quality of Augustine's prose.  I will thus "deconstruct" Augustine in order to show the priority of love and the affections in his account of faith and wisdom.  Constructively, I will argue that Augustine's account of "passional reason" ("I love in order to understand") both resonates with, and is a resource for, a pentecostal epistemology which recognizes the priority of the affections.