Topics of Relevance for the Modern Church

Join us for this special series throughout the church year. We welcome outstanding scholars from the spectrum of theological and ecclesiastical academia to offer presentations on current and provocative topics of relevance to the modern church in Marble’s unique urban setting. Bring your curiosity and your questions. Meets in the Labyrinth Room.

Past Events

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 10:00am - Ethics and Enterprise
Matthew Phillips - Associate Dean, Professor in Practice in Business Law and Ethics, Wake Forest University School of Business
Ethics and Enterprise: Ethics in the marketplace often feels abstract and ever-changing. A sense of professional identity, long cultivated among doctors, lawyers, and teachers, can be a way for people in business to connect their moral behaviors with the context of work and life. There are ideas and principles about how to form and live out this identity in the church, in literature, and in everyday experiences.

Matthew Phillips teaches business law and ethics at the Business School of Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He leverages a passion for innovative teaching and engages students with the practical intersections of law and business, while also emphasizing the underlying principles that shape interaction with law and ethical decision-making. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Duke University, where he focused on the intersections of law and religion in American history and he has done additional academic work, concentrating on leadership and ethics, at the U.S. Air Force's Air University. Phillips is a member of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business and its Ethics Section, the North Carolina Bar Association and its Business and Estate Planning sections and he is an affiliate of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism. He is also a pilot and legal officer in the Civil Air Patrol (the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary).

Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 10:00am
Bishop Will Willimon - The United Methodist Church and Bishop-in-Residence, Duke Divinity School
In the light of recent xenophobic remarks and events in the US, Christians need to think together about the ways in which the Other plays a role in our thinking about God and our neighbor. In this forum we will explore the uniquely Christian attitude toward the Other, the way in which the Christ faith orients us differently toward the threatening Other. Dr. Willimon is the author of the forthcoming book, Fear of the Other: Perfect Love Casts Out Fear (Abingdon Press).

An elder in the United Methodist Church, Professor Willimon served as the dean of Duke Chapel and Professor of Christian Ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He returned to Duke after serving as the UMC Bishop of the North Alabama Conference from 2004 to 2012. Willimon is the author of 60 books. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the 10 most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. More than a million copies of his books have been sold. His articles have appeared in many publications including Theology Today, Interpretation, Liturgy, Worship, and Christianity Today. He is editor-at-large for The Christian Century. His book Pastor: the Theology and Practice of Ordained Leadership is used in dozens of seminaries in the United States and Asia. He has taught in Germany and Asia in various seminaries. He also serves as pastor at Duke Memorial UMC in Durham, N.C.

Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 10:00am - Peace is Possible!
Dr. Hyun Kyung Chung - Professor at Union Theological Seminary
Earlier this year Professor Chung helped to organize a group of 30 international women peace makers, including Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Peace Prize recipients, to Pyongyang, North Korea where they called for an end to the 62-year-old unfinished Korean War. They then crossed the DMZ between North and South Korea as they walked for peace -- it was a "Her-Story" making event. While sharing stories and pictures of this incredible occasion, Professor Chung will speak on the anatomy of terrorism and the alchemy of peacemaking in a broad sense. She will also reflect with us on the theological and spiritual meaning of enemy love and ways to create peace.

Dr. Chung is a professor of Inter-faith Engagement at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She is a Christian scholar-activist, writer, international lecturer and Korean Eco-Feminist (“Salimist,” from the Korean word “salim,” which means “making things alive.” She first came to international attention in 1991, when she made a now famous speech– a feminist/Asian/ Third World interpretation of the Holy Spirit–at the World Council of Churches in Canberra, Australia. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from Ewha Women’s University in Seoul; M.Div. from the School of Theology at Claremont; and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary. She is a lay theologian of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, as well as once having become a temporary Buddhist novice nun. In 1999, she lived for a year in a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas studying mediation.

Sunday, August 30 at 10:00am - What Makes You So Strong?
Dr. Willard W. C. Ashley, Sr. - Dean of the Seminary and Tenured Associate Professor of Practical Theology at New Brunswick Theological Seminary
Dr. Ashley, Dean of the Seminary and Tenured Associate Professor of Practical Theology at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, shares lessons in leadership for people of faith. What are the theologies for traumatized Christians in the 21st Century? In light of the terror, trauma and tension we encounter on a daily basis what are appropriate Christian responses? How do you find strength and discover moments of joy in midst of attacks, anxiety and alienation? What makes you so strong?

Since 1996, Dr. Ashley has served as founder and senior pastor of Abundant Joy Community Church, Jersey City. He was past president of the Blanton Peale Alumni Association and staff psychotherapist at The Riverside Church and the Montclair Counseling Center. Dr. Ashley is a contributor to The Men of Color Study Bible and his new book is Learning to Lead: Lessons in Leadership for People of Faith.