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Lord Robert Runcie Convocation Lecture

GTF Lecture (29)


The Runcie Convocation Lecture Series

In the spring of 2000, following the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Robert Runcie, the Graduate Theological Foundation established The Lord Robert Runcie Convocation Lecture Series in honor and recognition of the loyalty and support he showed, as the head of the Church of England, to the Graduate Theological Foundation’s work in ministry education.

This year the Lecture was given by Dr. Hugh Page.  The Rev. Canon Hugh R. Page, Jr. is Professor of Theology and Africana Studies; and Vice President, Associate Provost, and Dean of the First Year of Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He holds a BA degree with a major in History from Hampton University; MDiv and STM degrees from General Theological Seminary in New York; a DMin in Applied Ministries from the Graduate Theological Foundation (Mishawaka, IN); and MA and PhD degrees in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. His particular research interests include early Hebrew poetry; theories of myth; the cultural content, and ethnological criticism of, ancient Near Eastern texts; Africana biblical interpretation; poetry as medium for theological expression; the use of religious traditions and sacred texts in identity construction within the Black community; and the role of mysticism and esotericism in Anglican and Africana spiritualities.

His sole-authored works include Israel’s Poetry of Resistance: Africana Perspectives on Early Hebrew Verse (Fortress, 2013); Exodus (Bible Reading Fellowship – Peoples Bible Commentary Series, 2006); and The Myth of Cosmic Rebellion: A Study of its Reflexes in Ugaritic and Biblical Literature (Brill, 1996). He is also general editor of The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora (Augsburg Fortress, 2010); one of the co-editors for both the Fortress Commentary on the Old Testament and Apocrypha (Fortress, 2014) and Esotericism in African American Religious Experience: “There is a Mystery” … (Brill, 2014); and editor of Exploring New Paradigms in Biblical and Cognate Studies (Mellen Biblical Press, 1996). He is also a Research Associate of Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) at Yale University.

Following is the abstract for the lecture, a video of which can be viewed here.

“Silent Carillons, Imperiled Voices, and Alternative Facts: Responding to Theology’s Emerging

21st Century Soundtrack”

Arthur Michael Ramsey (1904 – 1988), the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, affirmed – in the vein of the late Anglican divine Richard Hooker (ca. 1554 – 1600) – the value that Anglican theology places on ecclesial tradition, intellectual engagement, lived experience, and liturgy. For Ramsey, it is “to the sound of church bells” that the process one of his notable predecessors – Anselm (1033 – 1109) –  described as “faith seeking understanding” (fides quaerens intellectum) should take place.

Today, theology, particularly that sub-discipline dealing with the practice of ministry, must be mindful of sounds echoing from a more disturbing soundtrack that includes: the at times muted voices of faith communities struggling to redefine themselves in light of shrinking congregations and fiscal resources; the cries of those marginalized because of their religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, or citizenship status; and a cacophony of public truth claims that makes it difficult to articulate and work toward a shared vision of the common good. Those doing research on and / or engaged in the allied disciplines of ministry need to be proactive and creative in responding to this evolving 21st Century soundtrack. This lecture will outline some possible strategies for so doing.

The lecture was followed by a lively Q & A session and a dessert reception.

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