Earl Lectures 2020

The 2020 Earl Lectures will feature two remarkable events on two separate dates:

March 18, 7:00 p.m.
John Dominic Crossan
“Divine Violence in the Christian Bible”
This lecture will be the opening session for the 35th anniversary of the Jesus Seminar, whose inaugural meeting was held at PSR in 1985. The lecture will take place in the Zaytuna College sanctuary (directly across from the PSR Campus at 2401 Le Conte Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709) and will be immediately followed by a reception in the Badè Museum.



April 18, Day Long Conference and Alumni Awards Banquet
Democracy Reimagined
Featuring PSR’s Professors of Practice: Rumman Chowdhury, Kenneth “Hap” Klopp, and Jeff Chang

About the Earl Lectures

For more than a hundred years, PSR has hosted the Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference, addressing critical theological, pastoral, and social issues of the day.

Founded in 1901 with a gift from Edwin T. Earl, the purpose of the Lectures was, according to PSR’s Board of Trustees, “to aid in securing…the adequate presentation of Christian truth, by bringing to Berkeley, California…eminent Christian scholars to lecture upon themes calculated to illustrate and disseminate Christian thought, and minister to Christian life…” Over the years, the content of the Lectures has reflected the important theological, political, economical, and social trends of their times, with a uniformly high standard of scholarship and boldness.

Lecturers have been Biblical scholars, educators, historians, authors, activists, church leaders, and scholars of literature, among others; some of the featured Lecturers were well-known within their field but little-known outside of it, while others were household names. Some of the names we recognize today include such international figures as Theodore Roosevelt, Elie Wiesel, Howard Thurman, Maya Angelou, Paul Tillich, Alice Walker, and Robert Reich.

The Lectures have taken different forms over the years: sometimes small gatherings held on the PSR campus, other times large gatherings that filled lecture halls at the University of California. For much of the last century, the Lectures were held annually.

Today, rather than standing alone, the Earl Lectures are incorporated into PSR’s key public events. The E. T. Earl fund continues to support public presentation of excellent scholarship through sponsored lectures throughout the year.

Past Earl Lectures