Graduate Theological Union

SFTS Welcomes Noted African American Professor and Theologian Rev. Dr. Andrea C. White

GTU member school San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) will host the annual T.V. Moore Lecture series on Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12.  The distinguished speaker for this year’s event is Rev. Dr. Andrea C. White, Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and Associated Faculty in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Graduate Division of Religion.

White will present lectures on four different topics: Divine Mysteries: A Theology of Time; Divine Ideologies, A Theology of Death; Divine Representations: A Womanist Theology of Flesh; and Divine Erotics: Theology of Phenomenal Love. The full lecture abstracts can be found below.

White specializes in constructive Christian theology, womanist theology, and postmodern religious thought. Her book projects include The Back of God: A Theology of Otherness in Karl Barth and Paul Ricoeur and Black Women’s Bodies and God Politics: A Womanist Theology of Personhood, which has been awarded The Louisville Institute First Book Grant for Minority Scholars as well as the Lilly Theological Research Faculty Fellowship from the Association of Theological Schools.

A highly sought after speaker, White has given keynote addresses and invited lectures at The University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, University of Virginia, Agnes Scott College, Chicago Theological Seminary, Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, Graduate Theological Union, Luther Seminary, and Yale Divinity School, and preaches at various local congregations in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York.

Actively engaged with numerous organizations, White serves on the executive board of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, is co-chair of the Black Theology Group of the American Academy of Religion, and is a member of the Collegium for African American Research.  She has worked with The Carter Center’s Human Rights Defenders Policy Forum on Faith, Belief and the Advancement of Women’s Human Rights, and serves on the Committee on Teaching About the United Nations.

White earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in philosophy from Oberlin College, a Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School with a concentration in philosophy of religion, and a Ph.D. in theology from The University of Chicago Divinity School.

For more information or to register to attend the T.V. Moore Lectures, please visit www.sfts.edu or call 415-451-2830.

 

ABOUT THE T.V. MOORE LECTURES

Thomas Verner (T.V.) Moore was an SFTS professor in the early 20th century with a commitment to the Reformed tradition. He left an endowment through his estate for a T.V. Moore lecture series, which was first held in 1938. Since that time, SFTS has welcomed many esteemed speakers to continue the tradition of the annual lecture series.

REV. DR. ANDREA WHITE’S LECTURE ABSTRACTS

1: Divine Mysteries: A Theology of Time

Anxiety about money is fundamentally anxiety about securing the future, therefore, the proper subject matter of stewardship is not at all a question of finances, but a question of time, or to put it in theological terms, a question of hope and salvation.  Stewardship concerns money only in so far as it concerns time.  The problem is that our standard practice of stewardship relies on an economy of equivalent exchange while a theological understanding of stewardship relies on a logic of excess.  The logic of God is a logic of superabundance that defies all logic.  We need a theology of time that places human action within the context of divine promise and purpose for creation and in light of the logic of superabundance.

2: Divine Ideologies: A Theology of Death

The lived reality of social death and the threat of violent death suggest that hope is political as well as theological.  Womanist theology tends to these realities but it has often neglected hope as a theological framework for transfigurative identity.  Womanist theology has rightly claimed the authority of prophetic discourse and recognizes that prophecy is not simply the unveiling of an otherworldly future.  An error of this kind can lose sight of the political implications of God’s self-disclosure to those for whom the absence and silence of God is a daily experience.  If we may still speak of God’s eschatological design for human beings, we must speak in ways that attend to embodiment and orient our practical actions.  Eschatological imagination is a refusal to foreclose human history or to subject it to a predetermined vision of how history ought to proceed.  Womanist eschatological identity includes openness to future possibilities.

3: Divine Representations: A Womanist Theology of Flesh

Persistent cultural images of black female bodies not only engender violence against black women, but also present a challenge to theological anthropologies and their accompanying theologies of flesh.  As long as historical memory and cultural stereotypes depict the black female body as property, as an icon for deviant sexuality, or as a site for the “cultural production of evil,” womanist theology must help us reconfigure human personhood.  The intervention suggests a revisionist notion of the imago Dei that subverts the problem of representation and also foregrounds the subject of embodiment.  Understanding imago Dei as the embodied experience of living into agential vocational purpose precludes the reductionist tendency to construe imago Dei as representation and is subversive of controlling images that have become uninterrogated myths functioning as status quo.  Working against delegitimizing images, the imago Dei grounded upon the event of God-become-flesh reclaims the body as a site for grace.

4: Divine Erotics: Theology of Phenomenal Love

French phenomenologist Jean-Luc Marion advances a philosophy of love that grapples with encountering radical transcendence.  Marion’s phenomenology offers an innovative philosophy of relationality between human persons as it respects the aporias inherent in those relations without ever resolving them.  Yet an account for the divine-human relation deriving from his phenomenology remains underdeveloped, partly because Marion is more occupied with questions about the human other than the divine other.  Far from precluding the question of God, however, his philosophy of love and his phenomenology of revelation invite a theological reading of flesh, incarnation and divine risk.  Marion’s philosophy of love is suggestive of theological implications as his work joins the postmetaphysical critique that challenges mind-body dualism and drives the persistent question of God in postmodern religious thought.

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