Schaff Lectures 2017 Videos: "Forming Faithful Places"

The 2017 Schaff Lectures were held May 3. Willie J. Jennings, associate professor of systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale University, presented two lectures and a chapel talk on the theme "Forming Faithful Places.” 

"How to Draw Lines: The Christian Art of Forming Alliances"

This first lecture explored a theological vision for forming alliances as an art of Christian life. Why and how do we form alliances - social, cultural, political, and even economic? Too often many Christians have either given no answer to that question, preferring to resist forming alliances with peoples who differ from them. Or their basis for forming alliances have been shortsighted, superficial, and without any deep theological rationale. Jennings proposes a spirituality of collaboration that draws on a Christian vision of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the world.


"How to Draw Circles: The Christian Art of Building Life Together"

The second lecture continues exploring a spirituality of collaboration, but it presses forward to illumine the logic of relationality for Christians. For Christians the goal of alliance building opens toward a profound desire for life together to be registered geographically and materially. We are people of community always moving toward communion. Yet the problem for us is that we often lack the courage and creativity to angle social, cultural, political, and economic life toward communion. Jennings proposes a vision of encircled life that might reshape how we imagine our work of living in places and spaces.