Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Duke Divinity School Professor Luke Bretherton has been named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2017-18. He was selected for a year-long fellowship to conduct creative and innovative theological research on the topic of conversion.

Bretherton, a professor of theological ethics and a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, was one of six scholars selected by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and the Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.

This will be the 24th and final class of scholars to be named during the program’s 25-year history, bringing the total of Luce Fellows to 160, including 13 from Duke Divinity School. See a list of all previous recipients.

During his fellowship, Bretherton will research a project titled “A Constructive Theology of Conversion” in which he will reconsider the nature and form of conversion, which is central to Christian self-understanding. Conversion is a much contested phenomenon and debates about it touch on issues of the day such as free speech, moral and religious diversity, and the nature of secularity.

At its heart, the project will draw on ancient and modern theological and philosophical conceptions of conversion as a prism through which to reimagine and re-narrate moral and political understandings of change, contrasting conversion with many of the ways change is currently framed such as “development,” “emergence,” and “revolution.”

The Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology program funds research that contributes to theological inquiry and provides leadership in theological scholarship. It emphasizes the interdisciplinary character of theological scholarship and education, and addresses the needs of the academy, faith communities, and society. Fellows present their findings at an annual conference, and in scholarly and popular journals.