Join us for the annual Schaff Lectures Wed., March 26, 2014. Keynote speaker is Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School. These lectures, held in the Knox Room, Long Hall, are free and open to the public.

This year’s Schaff Lectures will address the topic “Biblical Prophecy: Thinking Prophetically in the 21st Century.” Lectures include:

  • 11:30 a.m. “A Prophetic Perspective” - How do the biblical prophets speak to us about God, the world, and the life of faith, often in the most difficult circumstances? This lecture outlines five features of a prophetic perspective, as it is represented in the Bible, and how that may inform Christian thought and practice in our own time.
  • 4:30 p.m. “Destroyers of the Earth: A Prophetic Critique of Empire” - The lecture explores how the Book of Revelation sets the totalizing economy of ancient Rome alongside the economy of God's kingdom, and how that prophetic challenge to empire reads in our global context.
  • 7:30 p.m. “Abraham and the Origins of Intercessory Prayer” - Abraham is the first person in the Bible to be named as a prophet (Gen. 20:7), specifically in his gift for prayer. We will consider the important dynamic of bold intercession and obedient submission in the story of the intimate relationship between God and Abraham.

Dinner Reservations

In addition to the lectures, the Seminary will also host a dinner at 6:00 p.m. in the Kadel Dining Hall. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. Contact the Seminary’s Continuing Education Office at 412-924-1345 or for more information about the Schaff Lectures. Online dinner reservation.

Speaker Bio

The author of eight books and many articles, Davis’ research interests focus on how biblical interpretation bears on the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the environmental crisis and interfaith relations. Her most recent book, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (Cambridge University Press, 2009), integrates biblical studies with a critique of industrial agriculture and food production.  She has long been involved in inter-religious dialog and is now cooperating with the Episcopal Church of Sudan to develop theological education, community health, and sustainable agriculture.

Schaff Lectures in Ohio

Davis will also speak at the First Presbyterian Church in Youngstown Tues., March 25 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. For more information, contact the church at 330-744-4307.

About the Schaff Lectures

The Schaff Lectures are named in honor of the late David S. Schaff. For 23 years, Schaff taught church history at Western Theological Seminary on the north side of Pittsburgh, one of the antecedents of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Before becoming a professor in 1903, he held two pastorates. Schaff wrote extensively in the area of church history and co-edited the well-known and often consulted Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia. He completed the unfinished work of his father, Philip, who had begun the History of the Christian Church before his death. The younger Schaff also wrote two books on the life of John Hus.