Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 7:00pm to Sunday, September 8, 2019 - 12:30pm
Duke University

Join Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) as we celebrate a decade of pioneering scholarship, reflect on today’s landscape, and imagine together a future for the field of Theology and Arts.

Theology and the Arts is one of the fastest growing areas of scholarly research today, with publications, courses, and initiatives appearing on an unprecedented scale. Over the last 10 years, DITA has promoted a vibrant, two-way engagement of theology and the arts, and emerged as a leading center for this interaction through research, teaching, and art in action. DITA10 builds on that work and launches a fresh conversation about how the arts can be a powerful medium of theological truth. Drawing on the theme of "Creation and New Creation," the symposium seeks to equip and inspire a new generation of scholars, artists, and church leaders as we ask the question: “Where should those active in theology and the arts be headed in the next twenty years?”

Scholarly engagement will lie at the heart of the symposium. Biblical and theological scholarship will permeate all DITA10 activities and will take a variety of forms, involving both public and private events. DITA10 is generously underwritten by the McDonald Agape Foundation.

Individual event tickets for the Friday and Saturday plenary events are still available below. Tickets for the full DITA10 Symposium registration and the individual event tickets for the Sunday plenary event are sold out.


Symposium Overview

Keynote Lectures, Seminars, and Panels

DITA10 will offer lectures from distinguished scholars and artists including Jeremy Begbie, Natalie Carnes, Judith Wolfe, Malcolm Guite, Steve Prince, Jennifer Craft, and N.T. Wright. On Friday evening, September 6, bestselling author and Duke Divinity professor Kate Bowler will host a public panel discussion on “Art in Times of Turmoil” with Christian Wiman and Lanecia Rouse-Tinsley.

Art in Action

The symposium will feature a visual art exhibition in Duke University Chapel, as well as poetry readings from Micheal O’Siadhail and Christian Wiman. On Saturday, September 7, the symposium will culminate in a lecture/performance led by Jeremey Begbie, Duke Divinity School professor and DITA director, and featuring over 30 musicians from the nation’s top orchestras.


Worship is the beginning and end of Theology and the Arts field. Each day will begin with a worship service in Goodson Chapel at Duke Divinity School, led by Carlos Colón and Malcolm Guite. DITA10 will conclude on Sunday morning, September 8, with a special Theology and Arts service in Duke University Chapel, featuring a number of DITA10 guests and a sermon delivered by N.T. Wright.


In addition to lectures and performances, a series of workshops will be offered by church leaders and artists on a range of topics and art-making practices including: “Collage-making as Visio Divina,” “The Church as Curator and Art Collector,“ “Building an Arts Program in Your Church,” and “Creating Church Liturgies Informed by Theology and the Arts.”

Emerging Scholars Colloquium

Over the course of DITA10, a group of doctoral students and junior scholars will meet to share papers and discuss their research. In keeping with the symposium’s goal of celebrating the past ten years of DITA’s work and casting a vision for the future of the discipline, this Emerging Scholars Colloquium aims to foster a space where students and scholars can participate in meaningful and sustained dialogue with one another to develop the kind of community which might shape and sustain the field in the years ahead.

Schedule Overview

Thursday, September 5  

                7-8:30 pm

Opening Keynote: Jeremy Begbie "Looking Back, Looking Forward"  (Goodson Chapel, Duke Divinity School)

Friday, September 6

8:15-9 am

Morning Worship (Goodson Chapel)

    9:15-10:30 am Plenary Lecture (Goodson Chapel): "Inklings of Heaven: Creation and New Creation in the Works of Lewis and Tolkien" with Judith Wolfe and Malcolm Guite
       11 am-12:30 pm

Seminars (Duke Divinity School)

1:30-5 pm Workshops (Duke Divinity School)
7-8:30 pm Panel discussion hosted by Kate Bowler on "Art and Theology in Times of Turmoil" with Christian Wiman and Lanecia Rouse-Tinsley (Reynolds Industries Theater, Bryan Center)

Saturday, September 7

 8:15-9 am Morning Worship (Goodson Chapel)
9:15-10:30 am Plenary Lecture (Goodson Chapel):  "'Why this Waste?': Art, Excess, and Human Need" with Natalie Carnes and Thomas Pfau
11 am -12:30 pm Seminars (Duke Divinity School)
1:30-5 pm Workshops (Duke Divinity School)
7-8:30 pm Jeremy Begbie with the New Caritas Orchestra (Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University East Campus)

Sunday, September 8 

8:30-10 am Breakfast and a conversation with N.T. Wright (Penn Pavilion, Duke University West Campus)
11 am -12:30 pm Duke Chapel Sunday Worship Service with N.T. Wright Preaching


Conference Presenters

Awet AndemicaelAwet Andemicael is a performer, writer, consultant, and educator who works primarily in the areas of music and theology. As a concert and operatic soprano, she has sung at festivals and concert venues across North America, Europe, and Japan. She has received music awards from numerous organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council and the Oratorio Society of New York. Her current theological work focuses on the intersection of divine glory and human transformation.
Kristine BlaessKristine Blaess & St. George’s Episcopal Church Arts Community. St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tenn., is one of DITA’s parish partners and each summer hosts a student from DITA’s Certificate in Theology & the Arts for field education. Through the parish partnership, St. George’s has developed a long-term vision for their arts programming, especially their arts-based missional community group, and worked with DITA to host an annual art exhibition and lecture series.
Kate BowlerKate Bowler, Ph.D., is an associate professor of the history of Christianity in North America at Duke Divinity School. Her book, Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel, received widespread media attention and academic praise as the first history of the movement based on divine promises of health, wealth, and happiness. In 2015, she was unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. In her viral New York Times op-ed, she writes about the irony of being an expert in health, wealth, and happiness while being ill. Her subsequent memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I’ve loved) tells the story of her struggle to understand the personal and intellectual dimensions of the American belief that all tragedies are tests of character. She received a sabbatical grant for researchers from the Louisville Institute to write her third book, The Preacher’s Wife: Women and Power in American Megaministry, which will be published in October 2019. Bowler also just did a TEDMED Talk on how you go on living in life's toughest moments and has a top-ranked podcast.
Natalie CarnesNatalie Carnes is a constructive theologian at Baylor University who reflects on traditional theological topics through somewhat less traditional themes such as images, iconoclasm, beauty, gender, and childhood. For this work, Carnes draws on literary and visual works as sources and sites of theological reflection, and her interest in doing so takes her into questions of religious knowledge and authority. She has written two books, Beauty: A Theological Engagement with Gregory of Nyssa and Image and Presence: A Christological Reflection of Iconoclasm and Iconophilia. Currently, she is working on two new projects. One is a book with Matthew Whelan exploring the questions at the intersections of poverty, aesthetics, luxury, and art. The other is a theological narrative contemplating children and childhood.

Carlos ColonCarlos Colón is assistant director for Worship and Chapel at Baylor University. He is a composer, liturgist, and cultural promoter, specializing in music that is both academically serious and ecclesiastically valuable. His recent projects lie at the intersection of social justice and religious change. Colón was born in Chalchuapa, El Salvador. When he was 14, he was forced to leave El Salvador and took refuge in Guatemala City. A resident of the United States since 1986, he holds a B.M. from Belmont University and a M.M. from Baylor University. He became a U.S. citizen in 2001. His music has been performed in festivals in the United States and abroad. Colón’s international heritage and personal experience of civil war inform his compositions’ call to justice, peace, and beauty. Recently, his music has been performed in Carnegie Hall, Venezuela National Radio, the Calvin Worship Symposium, and Festival de Música Contemporánea of El Salvador.


Jennifer Allen CraftJennifer Allen Craft is an associate professor of theology and humanities at Point University in West Point, Ga. Her research interests include theology of place and space, theology and the visual arts, and the doctrine of creation. She is a member of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) and most recently published Placemaking and the Arts: Cultivating the Christian Life.
Leah GlennLeah Glenn received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Choreographic Theory and Practice from Southern Methodist University, her Teacher's Certification in Labanotation from Ohio State University, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and Management from Goucher College. She also worked with the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), where she studied under Milton Meyers and Denise Jefferson. Prior to teaching at the College of William and Mary, Glenn was assistant professor and head of Dance at Hampton University for two years. While at Hampton University, she directed the Terpsichorean Dance Company and established the first African American chapter of the National Dance Association's Nu Delta Alpha Honor Society. Her choreography has been presented by the College of William & Mary, Hampton University, and the Maryland School of Ballet and Modern Dance. Her reconstructions of Pearl Primus’ Bushasche Etude, the Parsons Etude, the Limon Etude, and Donald McKayle's Rainbow Etude have been presented by the College of William & Mary. She has also reconstructed the Rainbow Etude at Old Dominion University and Hampton University. Ms. Glenn collaborated with Parisa Khobdeh on reconstructing one of Paul Taylor’s works titled The Word, which was performed by William & Mary students in DANCEVENT 2013.  In addition to her original work and reconstructions, she also co-choreographed Journey of Destiny, the retelling of the settlement of Jamestown, Va., which was part of the Jamestown 400th Anniversary Celebration. Several of her original works have been presented at the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference and more recently on the Millennium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (2016)  and the Dance Place (2017), both in Washington, D.C.  Glenn is currently associate professor of Dance at William & Mary and the artistic director of Leah Glenn Dance Theatre.
Malcolm GuitePoet-priest Malcolm Guite is chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and teaches at the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He lectures widely in England and North America on theology and literature and has published poetry, theology, and literary criticism, including his most recent work, Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. (Photo courtesy of Lancia E. Smith)
Richard B. HaysRichard B. Hays is internationally recognized for his work on the Gospels, the letters of Paul, and on New Testament ethics. He is an emeritus professor of New Testament and former dean at Duke Divinity School. His scholarly work has bridged the disciplines of biblical criticism and literary studies, exploring the innovative ways in which early Christian writers interpreted Israel’s Scripture.
Bruce HermanBruce Herman is a painter and educator living and working in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He holds the Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in Fine Arts at Gordon College, where he has taught and curated exhibitions since 1984. Herman lectures widely and has had work published in many books, journals, and popular magazines including most recently Through Your Eyes.
Micheal O'SiadhailMicheal O’Siadhail is a full-time writer with sixteen published collections of poetry, and has given poetry readings and broadcasts extensively in Ireland, Britain, Europe, and North America. He has been lecturer at Trinity College Dublin and a professor at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. O’Siadhail is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. His most recent work, The Five Quintets, has been universally recognized as a major poetic achievement and was named “Book of the Year” by the Conference on Christianity and Literature.
Steve A. PrinceArtist Steve A. Prince is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and currently resides in Williamsburg, Virginia. Prince received his BFA from Xavier University of Louisiana and his MFA in Printmaking and Sculpture from Michigan State University. He is currently the director of Engagement and Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary. Prince received several honors for his art and scholarship, including the 2010 Teacher of the Year for the City of Hampton. He has shown his art internationally in various solo, group, and juried exhibitions. Prince has participated in several residencies including the 2007 Partners of the Americas Artist in Residence in Santa Catarina, Brazil. He has created several public works, including an 8’x8′ mixed media work titled “Lemonade: A Picture of America” at the College of William and Mary commemorating the first three African American resident students in 1967 at the college.
J.A.C. RedfordJ.A.C. Redford is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and conductor of concert, chamber, and choral music; film, television and theater scores; and music for recordings. His music has been featured on programs at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Lincoln Center in New York, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Lanecia Rouse TinsleyLanecia Rouse Tinsley is a multidisciplinary artist who specializes in abstract expressionism. Her portfolio also includes a range of work in photography, painting, teaching, writing, and speaking. She is the owner and creator of LAR Art Studio. In addition to her work through the studio, Tinsley ontracts with Holy Family HTX as Artist-in-Residence; works with projectCURATE as co-spiritual director and Consultant for the Arts; and is co-founder/co-creative director of ImagiNoir Group, an international alliance and think-tank of black activists, artists, writers, scholars, and educators.
Christian WimanPoet, translator, editor, and essayist Christian Wiman served as the editor of Poetry magazine from 2003 to 2013. A former Guggenheim fellow, he has taught at Stanford University, Northwestern University, Lynchburg College, and Yale Divinity School. Wiman is the author of numerous books of prose, and poetry, including My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer.
Norman WirzbaNorman Wirzba is a distinguished professor in Christian theology at Duke Divinity School, where he pursues research and teaching interests at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. He lectures frequently in Canada and the United States. His work focuses on understanding and promoting practices that can equip both rural and urban church communities to be more faithful and responsible members of creation. He is also a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.
Judith WolfeJudith Wolfe is professor of Philosophical Theology, deputy head of the School of Divinity, and director of the Graduate Programme in Theology at the University of St. Andrews. Her overarching research interest is in eschatology and its significance within theology. She is currently finishing two monographs: one on the theological imagination (Baylor University Press, 2020) and the other on eschatology and modern European thought (Oxford University Press, 2021).
N.T. WrightN.T. Wright is a leading biblical scholar, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England and currently research professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary’s College in the University of St. Andrews. Wright has written over seventy books, including the multi-volume work Christian Origins and the Question of God.

Accomodations, Meals, & Travel

DITA10 will be held September 5-8, 2019 at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Evening events will take place in venues across campus, but most of the conference will be on West Campus at Duke Divinity School.


A block of rooms has been reserved at Hilton Garden Inn (2102 West Main Street) for a rate of $139/night. We have reserved a block of rooms at two local hotels for your convenience: the Hilton Garden Inn  ($139/night) and the Cambria Hotel Durham ($109/night). We will provide shuttles from both hotels to the events for DITA10.

If you prefer other lodging accommodations, we strongly recommend finding a location with a shuttle to Duke’s campus because on-campus parking is very limited. For a list of other area hotels, visit Discover Durham. Durham has many AirBnB options as well.


Conference registration includes breakfast for Sunday morning’s event with N.T. Wright. No other meals will be provided.

We recommend planning to eat lunch on campus. On Duke’s West Campus there are many dining options, including the Divinity Cafe, located in the Divinity school, ones at the Brodhead Center, and the Bryan Center, both of which are located next to Duke Divinity School.

For dinner, we recommend getting off campus to explore some of the excellent restaurants in Durham, which has been called one of the best foodie towns in the Southeast by Southern Living, The New York Post and other publications. Check out Bites of Bull City for area restaurant recommendations.


The closest airport is Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), which is a 20-minute car ride from Duke University. Durham’s bus station and train station are located downtown within walking distance of East Campus.

We recommend taking into account where you are staying and your personal needs when deciding if you want a car or not. Some downtown hotels are within walking distance to Duke’s East Campus. The free Bull City Connector runs from downtown to Duke. DITA10 predominantly takes place on West Campus; visitor parking on West Campus is extremely limited.

A shuttle will run between Duke’s West Campus and the Hilton Garden Inn and Cambria Hotel Durham throughout the conference. Campus buses will be available for free transportation on campus.

If you choose to park on campus, the cost is $2/hour with a maximum daily cost of $12. We recommend carpooling if you want to park on campus. For parking locations, visit Duke Visitor Parking.

General information about accessibility at Duke can be found here. For specific questions, contact us at

Registration and Contact

Individual event tickets for the Friday and Saturday plenary events are available below. Tickets for the full DITA10 Symposium registration and the individual event tickets for the Sunday plenary event are sold out.

For all conference-related inquiries, please email to