Past Earl Lectures
2015 Be|Art|Now

The 112th Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference Be|Art|Now held January 29-31, 2015 brought together activists, artists, and progressive people of faith to experience the intersection of art, spirituality, and social transformation. Participants experienced performances, exhibits, public arts, and worship to explore innovative ways they could integrate art into their vocations and spiritual lives. Keynote speaker and preacher Adriene Thorne, speaker Tim Holmes, and performances by Michael Franti and Jinho “The Piper” Ferreira led members of the conference into deep explorations of art and social justice.

Michael Franti {musician, filmmaker}
Adriene Thorne {pastor, dancer}
Jinho “The Piper” Ferreira {playwright, musician, police officer}
Tim Holmes {sculptor, philosopher}
Rossitza Schroeder {assistant professor of arts and religion, PSR}
2013 We Are Family: Real Families, Real Faith in the Real World

The 111th Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference, We Are Family: Real Families, Real Faith, in the Real World held January 29-31, 2013, brought together scholars and faith community leaders to explore what family means in a modern historical context within U.S. society.

In the company of Dr. Margaret A. Farley, and the Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre and inspired by the preaching of the Rev. Barbara J. Essex, participants explored questions about who decides what makes a family and how the Divine is reflected in the stages and activities of family life.

Dr. Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M.
Stephanie Coontz
Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre
Rev. Barbara J. Essex
2011: Our Daily Bread: Faith, Work, and the Economy

Audio available here.

The 110th Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference, Our Daily Bread: Faith, Work, and the Economy, brought together religious and secular leaders to teach, preach, and strategize about issues of economic justice.  Joined by Robert Reich, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Kim Bobo, Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, Bishop Yvette Flunder, and many more renowned speakers and presenters, members of the PSR community came together to strive to live out the Gospel message to care for “the least of these.”

Robert Reich
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Kim Bobo
Rev. Alexia Salvatierra
Bishop Yvette Flunder
2010: Spiritual but not Religious: Chasing the Divine

Audio available here.

Earl Lectures 2010 explored the increasingly popular phrase spiritual, but not religious. What is the essential difference between spiritual and religious? What can religious institutions learn from those who claim to be one and not the other? And what kind of critique can those who call themselves “religious” be asking about the description “spiritual, but not religious“?

Matthew Fox
Scotty McLennan
Melissa Wilcox
Donna Allen
Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir
2009: Behold… a New Thing: Emerging Expressions of Faithfulness

Audio available here.

There is something new emerging inside, alongside, and even outside the familiar institutions and expressions of Christianity in North America. What will this “new thing” be, and how will it affect the traditional church? The 2009 Earl Lectures provided an opportunity to experience and reflect critically on new forms of spirituality and worship associated with the emerging church.

The 108th Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference was held in the Ecumenical Center of Berkeley, the former University Christian Church, and marked the first time the lectures had been held on Holy Hill since 1949.  Speakers guided explorations of popular culture, generational change, and religious innovation in North America.

Jay Bakker
Bruce Reyes-Chow
Karen Ward
Gerardo Marti
Boyung Lee
2008: O for a World: Faith, Community, and Sustainability

Audio available here.

In the 21st century, we face not only the degradation of the environment, but also a growing disparity between those who have access to resources and those who are deprived. Now is the time for progressive people of faith to address not only the ecological but also the moral and social burdens weighing down the generations. What can we do to build just and sustainable communities? How can people of faith work for justice and help sustain lives savaged by hunger and fear?

With its focus on “Faith, Community, and Sustainability,” the 2008 Earl Lectures and Pastoral Conference addressed these vital questions. Preachers, lecturers, and workshop leaders helped connect the liberal Protestant concern for social justice with the need for environmental justice.

Karen Baker-Fletcher
Daniel A. Buford
Clarence L. Johnson
Ken Medema
Chandra Muzaffar
Mayra Rivera Rivera
Mary E. Westfall
2007: All the Rivers of Paradise: Christian Responsibility in an Interfaith World

Audio available here.

In Genesis, a single, unnamed river flows out of Eden and branches into tributaries that run to different parts of the world, providing us with a metaphor for the world’s religions and reminding us that Americans today live in an interfaith world in ways never imagined in our history. “We the people” now include Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Zoroastrians, and new varieties of Christians and Jews, while the original people of this land still hold fast to their own sense of the sacred. Members of all the world’s religions now live in the same neighborhoods, profoundly affecting schools, markets, and the halls of government. And all the while the world bristles with the weapons and wars of religious intolerance.

The 2007 Earl Lectures grappled with these momentous questions, challenging and informing our thinking about the place of Christianity among the world’s religions and changing our practice as we become profoundly involved with people of other faiths.

Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub
Bernice Powell Jackson
Tat-siong Benny Liew
Choan-Seng (C.S.) Song
2006: Gathering the Beloved Community: Voices of Faith for the Public Square

Audio available here.

What is the meaning and potential of progressive Christianity? What streams of theology and practice does it bring together? How can progressive Christian movements attain greater visibility in national public life? Who speaks for progressive Christianity?

James Forbes, senior minister at the Riverside Church in New York City
Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the University of Southern California
Hubert Locke, former trustee and acting president of PSR and dean emeritus of the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington
Delwin Brown, dean emeritus of PSR
Kwok Pui Lan, William F. Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality at Episcopal Divinity School
2005: Sex and the City of God: Intimacy and Wholeness

Audio available here.

The 2005 Earl Lectures on the theme “Sex and the City of God” attracted one of the largest audiences in the event’s 104-year history.  Discussion focused on the dilemmas in the definition of and right to marriage and on clergy and sexuality during two panel discussions.  In addition, the 31 workshops of the Pastoral Conference enabled participants to delve deeper into specific issues, such as sex in the Bible, queer theology, pastoral care responses to sex, coming out, youth ministry and sexuality, sexual ethics, issues in Asian/Pacific Islander and African American families and congregations, and HIV/AIDS ministry.

Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire and the first openly gay Episcopal bishop
Eric H.F. Law, missioner for congregational development of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and author of The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb: A Spirituality for Leadership in a Multicultural Community
Christine E. Gudorf, professor at Florida International University and author of Body, Sex, and Pleasure: Reconstructing Christian Sexual Ethics
Douglass Fitch, pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church
2004: We Are Called: Vocation in a Swiftly Changing World

Audio available here.

Gary Dorrien, Episcopal priest, Parfet Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College in Michigan
Vincent G. Harding, Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and former director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Karen Lebacqz, Robert Gordon Sproul Professor of Theological Ethics at PSR and United Church of Christ minister
Ann M. Svennungsen, a Lutheran pastor and newly elected President of the Fund for Theological Education
Mary Donovan Turner, PSR Carl Patton Associate Professor of Preaching and a minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

This year’s event featured a special celebration honoring Earl Lecturer and PSR ethics professor Karen Lebacqz’s world-renowned scholarship and her many years of service at PSR. She will be retiring from her teaching duties at the school in summer 2004.

2003: For the Living of These Days: Theology as a Public Resource

Audio available here.

Inspired by the life and ministry of the late PSR Professor Robert McAfee Brown (1920–2001), the three-day event explored ways that faith communities can take a greater leadership role in shaping public discourse in a troubled world.

Gustavo Gutiérrez, renowned Latin American liberation theologian
Nancy Ammerman, sociologist of religion at Hartford Seminary
Gary Dorrien, theologian and chaplain at Kalamazoo College
Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, PSR Associate Professor
Thomas Hoyt, Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and President of the National Council of Churches.
Sydney Brown, Director of the Northern California Interfaith Council on Economic and Environmental Justice
Daniel Ellsberg, best known for his release of the Pentagon Papers
John Fife, Presbyterian minister and one of the founders of the US Sanctuary Movement
C. Welton Gaddy, Executive Director of The Interfaith Alliance
Leontine T.C. Kelly, retired United Methodist Bishop
Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Hubert Locke, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington Graduate School of Public Affairs
2002: Image to Insight: The Power of Film in Faith and Culture

Audio available here.

Lectures, workshops and public conversations with national leaders in film and television, artists who are renewing worship through the use of multi-media, and people of faith in the film industry.

Michael Morris, Professor of Religion and Arts at the Dominican School of Theology and Philosophy in Berkeley
Edward McNulty, a Presbyterian minister and editor of Visual Parables
Michael Rhodes, Emmy-award winning director of the feature films Romero, and Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story
Bruce Joel Rubin, Oscar winning writer
Linda Seger, screenwriter
Ron Shelton, director of Bull Durham and several other major films
Terry Sweeney, Senior Vice-President of Paulist Productions
Judy Fentress Williams, Professor of Hebrew Studies at Hartford Seminary
Michael G. Bausch, adjunct faculty member in technology and ministry at Dubuque Theological Seminary
Yvette Flunder, pastor of City of Refuge UCC in San Francisco
Nancy L. Wilson, Vice Moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
2001: Into All the World: Christian Mission in a Pluralistic Age

Audio available here.

Abuna Elias Chacour
Purity Nomthandazo Malinga
Sharon Welch
2000: Conflict and Reconciliation: New Models for Hope
Robin Meyers
Richard Rodriguez
Mary A. Tolbert
Michael Lerner
William W. Rankin
Anthony B. Robinson
1999: Building Healthy Communities: Partners in Faith and Wellness

Audio available here.

Nancy Eiesland
Gary Gunderson
A. Cecil Williams
1998: Cross-Currents in Faith and Culture

Audio available here.

Robert M. Berdahl
Michael Eric Dyson
Miriam Therese Winter
1997: Equipping Faith Communities for a Changing World

Audio available here.

Kathleen Norris
Frederick J. Streets
Barbara Wheeler
1996: Religion and Science
Ian G. Barbour
Rita Nakashima Brock
William F. May
1995: Jesus Beyond the Bible: A Cultural Debate
John Dominic Crossan
Chung Hyun Khung
Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
1994: Body, Sexuality and Spirituality: Sexual Christians and the Church’s Renewal
William Sloan Coffin
Margaret R. Miles
James B. Nelson
1993: Creeds and Ordination: Help or Hindrance?
Brian A. Gerrish
Glenda Hope
Cynthia Rembert-James
Mariellen Sawada
Marjorie H. Suchocki
1992: Spirituality
Virgil P. Elizondo
Parker J. Palmer
Phyllis Trible
1991: Preaching, Healing and Teaching
Sharon Daloz Parks
Craig Dykstra
Roy I. Sano
1990: Preaching
Fred. B. Craddock
Justo L. Gonzalez
Catherine Gunsalus Gonzalez
Prathia Hall Wynn
1989: Theological Truths from the Biblical Wilderness
Walter Brueggemann
Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza
J. Alfred Smith, Sr.
1950s: E.T. Earl Lectures – 1950s: Graduate Theological Union Digital Library

Earl Lectures conference programs and audio recordings from the 1950s available here.

1902-1985 Earl Lecturers

A list of all Earl Lecturers from the beginning of the Earl Lectures in 1902 through 1985 is available here.