January 2010

Dr. J. Kameron Carter
Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies
Duke Divinity School

Last Tuesday a magnitude 7 earthquake, the same strength quake that rocked San Francisco in 1989, brought the little island nation of Haiti to its knees. It has been reported by some news outlets that nearly one-third of the nation’s population, or somewhere in the neighborhood of about 3 million people, have been affected either by being killed or personally injured or maimed or by being left homeless. It is not an exaggeration to say that the devastation strains one’s abilities to describe.

God of the living and the dead,
we wail in grief at the pain and loss and horror and distress
of our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
We do not understand your ways –
that those who already suffer the most,
now suffer so much more.

As we welcome you, our readers, and all of our students back for another season, we can't help but be filled with excitement at all 2010 has in store!! There are many changes we anticipate, including some site amendments and some new conversation partners. We're also looking forward to celebrating with you events in the Duke and Durham communities, as the Spring is filled with much to reflect over culturally and spiritually.

By Dr. William C. Turner, Jr.
Associate Professor of the Practice of Homiletics
Duke Divinity School

***We offer in this New Year excerpts from Dr. Turner's sermon "21st Century Courage." May God bless each of you in this season!***

21st Century Courage. What are some challenges in the search? Are new lies being told to the present generation, or have the old ones been ensconced in the way the world is configured? In short, what is the courage required to live authentic existence?