Life After Christendom

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Twenty-five years ago, Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law at Duke Divinity School, and Will Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School, challenged the Christian church to live as a vital embodiment of the Gospel, operating within today’s society but apart from its eroding values.

The vision laid out in their book, Resident Aliens, still resonates with Christians today.

Hauerwas and Willimon will reunite this October 13-14 at Duke Divinity School’s 2014 Convocation & Pastors’ School, joining with sociologist James Davison Hunter, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, and Bishop Larry Goodpaster, and pastors throughout the country for candid discussion on the impact this book has had on clergy, congregations, and seminaries.

Convocation & Pastors' School 2013In the opening session on Monday, Richard Hays, dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School, will engage Hauerwas and Willimon in a conversation on the writing of the book. The initial James A. Gray lecture will be given by Hunter, LaBrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture and Social Theory at the University of Virginia and director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. The second session will feature a panel discussion between Hunter and the two authors. 

On Tuesday, the Franklin S. Hickman Lecture will give pastors the opportunity to describe via recorded video the impact that Resident Aliens has had on their lives in ministry, followed by a response from Willimon. During the afternoon session, Willimon and Hauerwas will offer closing reflections on the current state of the church.

Augmenting the event’s larger discussions will be 13 one- and two-day seminars on topics ranging from embracing technology faithfully to creating inclusivity to engaging children in worship. Led by faculty, church leaders, and practitioners, these more intimate learning experiences enable participants to explore additional avenues for being a faithful witness to the world. 
Alumni and friends of the Divinity School are invited to reconnect with each other and with current faculty and students on Monday at the annual Alumni Homecoming Luncheon in the Divinity Café and Bovender Terrace. Project BriDDDge will host an alumni gathering as well. The Convocation also will feature multiple opportunities for worship, with Bishop Hope Morgan Ward preaching and Bishop Larry Goodpaster presiding.

Registration for Convocation & Pastors’ School is now open. Pastors serving churches eligible for grants from The Duke Endowment, current Divinity School students, and 2014 graduates of the Divinity School can attend at a discounted rate.

Learn more and register for Convocation & Pastors’ School »