Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity

stalcupThe thirty-eighth series continues the efforts of the School to offer adult lay persons a variety of opportunities to strengthen the basis of their commitment to Jesus Christ and the church, to learn how to better understand the intersections of life and faith, and how to prepare more effectively for work in service to God and humanity. The School is made possible by the generosity of SSTL’s former Dean, Joe Stalcup, and his wife, Nancy Vaughn Stalcup, and the gifts of others who share their commitment to theological education.

Luke and Early Christian Diversity
Tenth Fred B. Craddock Seminar on the Gospels
Saturday, September 12, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Rush Creek Christian Church, Arlington, 2401 SW Green Oaks Blvd.
Shelly Matthews, Professor of New Testament, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventThe earliest Christians responded to teachings of and about Jesus in a wide variety of ways. Yet, the orthodox Christian affirmation is that all true Christians held identical beliefs from the very beginning. This workshop considers Luke (and Acts) as instrumental in shifting early Christians away from diversity and into uniformity through the stories the author tells and doesn’t tell. We will consider the importance of Luke’s stories, and those other stories, to the shaping of the church we envision in the 21st century.

Shelly Matthews is the author of First Converts: Rich Pagan Women and the Rhetoric of Mission in Early Judaism and Christianity, Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity which was hailed by the Journal of Religion as compulsory reading for those interested in Jewish-Christian relations, and The Acts of the Apostles: Taming the Tongues of Fire.

Seven Literacies for Responsible Christians
Ninth Jean and Parker Wilson Seminar
Saturday, September 26, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas, 7202 W. Northwest Highway
Namsoon Kang, Professor of World World Christianity and Religions, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventThere are many perplexing questions in our contemporary world that the teachings of Jesus do not mention. In this sense, Jesus’ teachings are more about questions than answers; questions such as who the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned are today. Religion is about responsibility and being responsible for the others and the world requires knowing critical issues that matter in the contemporary world. Seven Literacies are for this responsible knowing in search of living-well-together, of the messianic Kindom of God.

Namsoon Kang taught previously at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK and Methodist Theological University, South Korea. Her most recent books include Diasporic Feminist Theology (2014) and Cosmopolitan Theology (2013). Teaching and writing from transdisciplinary spaces, her scholarly interests are in discourses of deconstruction, postmodernism, postcolonialism, feminism, and cosmopolitanism. An acclaimed speaker who lectures throughout the world, she was a plenary speaker at the World Council of Churches 9th Assembly in Brazil in 2006, served as president of World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions, and has actively involved in various international organizations and programs. She received the Louise Clark Britten Endowed Faculty Excellence Award twice by vote of the Class of 2009 and of 2012, Catherine Saylor Hill Award of Faculty Excellence by vote of faculty in 2013, and Award for Distinguished Achievement as a Creative Teacher and Scholar in 2014 at Brite Divinity School.

 

The Second Naiveté: How to Take the Bible Seriously
Saturday, October 3, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
First Christian Church, Tyler
Lance Pape, Granville and Erline Walker Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventWhat kind of book is the Bible, and what does it really mean to take it seriously? This seminar will distinguish between taking scripture “literally” as an accurate historical report about things that happened long ago, and taking scripture seriously as poetic testimony to the reality of God. It will explore the question of the Bible’s complicated relationship to our modern notions of “fiction” and “history,” and argue that we should strive to develop what can be called a “second naiveté”—a disposition toward reading the Bible that fearlessly engages and learns from modern criticism, without giving up on the hope and the expectation that in scripture we may be addressed by a voice and a will not our own.

Lance Pape is the author of The Scandal of Having Something to Say: Ricoeur and the Possibility of Postliberal Preaching. He is interested in the way preaching takes place at the intersection between the stories we tell about ourselves and the stories about God in Scripture. Lance is an ordained Disciples of Christ minister.

The Religion of Race: The Demonic in the Everyday Workings of Things
Ninth Schubert M. Ogden Seminar on Systematic Theology
Saturday, October 10, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas, 7202 W. Northwest Highway
Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventStephen Ray, Jr., Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Systematic Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, Evanston, IL

In this seminar participants will explore how it is that the idea of race has created a way of understanding the world which affects our understanding of God and ourselves; more often than not in unhelpful ways. A significant part of our exploration will be about how we might interpret our lives and the life of the Church in ways that might be a witness to the wholeness and flourishing which God desires for us all in the face of this false religion.

Stephen G. Ray, Jr. is the president-elect of the Society for the Study of Black Religion and an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. He is the author of A Struggle from the Start: The Black Community of Hartford, 1639-1960 and Do No Harm: Social Sin and Christian Responsibility and is co-author of Black Church Studies: An Introduction.

The Faithful Struggle to Forgive
Saturday, October 17, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Broadway Chrisitan Church, Columbia Missouri
Joretta Marshall, Executive Vice President and Dean and Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventForgiveness is part of the journey of faith for many Christians. It is, on the one hand, something that compels us toward right relationships and justice. On the other hand, forgiveness is hard work that requires energy, spiritual integrity, and honesty.

Joretta Marshall serves as Executive Vice President and Dean and also as Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care at Brite Divinity School. Prior to joining the faculty at Brite, she taught at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Iliff School of Theology, and Eden Seminary, where she was also Academic Dean. She is the author of Why Should I Forgive? and the co-editor of Forgiveness and Abuse: Jewish and Christian Reflections (with Marie Fortune). She is a past President of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church with membership in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

The Unconditional: A Postmodern Approach to Religion

Ninth Jean and Patrick Henry Seminar
Saturday, October 24, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas, 7202 W. Northwest Highway
John Caputo, Thomas J. Watson Emeritus Professor of Religion and Humanities, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY and David R. Cook Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventThis seminar will raise the question of whether in the “postmodern” world—the high-tech, highly pluralistic and dizzyingly digitalized age we live in today—religion still has a place. We will explore an idea of religious faith, hope and love as the affirmation of the “unconditional” and then consider the extent to which this idea is or is not identical with what we call God and the extent to which this affirmation is found not only in religion in the strict sense but also outside it. This notion of the unconditional can shed light on the contest that is being played out in our world between the religious and the secular, fundamentalism and its critics, theism and atheism, faith and reason, and between one religious faith and another.

John D. Caputo’s special interest lies in the meaning of religion in a postmodern culture. In addition to his scholarly works, he has produced a steady stream of books aimed at a wider, non-academic audience, including What Would Jesus Deconstruct?, which won the ForeWord Magazine Best Philosophy Book of 2007 award. His forthcoming book is entitled Hoping Against Hope: Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim. Since retiring in 2011, he has been speaking to various church and community groups interested in a more progressive concept of religion.

The Genius of America: The Separation of Church and State
Ninth W.A. Welsh Seminar
Saturday, November 7, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas, 7202 W. Northwest Highway
Ronald B. Flowers, John F. Weatherly Emeritus Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventIn the creation of the government for the new nation, the founders created what Americans call the “separation of church and state.” A revolutionary idea because it was the first time in human history that a nation had disengaged itself from some religious orthodoxy or another and had declared its citizens free to be religious, or as non-religious, as they chose. We will explore what the U.S. Constitution says about the relation of religion and government by first looking at the Constitutional principles regarding that relationship and then by examining selected decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that interpreted the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

Ronald B. Flowers is the author and co-author of several books including Toward Benevolent Neutrality: Church, State, and the Supreme Court; Religion in Strange Times: The 1960s and 1970s; That Godless Court?: Supreme Court Decisions on Church-State Relationships; To Defend the Constitution: Religion, Conscientious Objection, Naturalization, and the Supreme Court; and Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court.

Tracing Redemption in Film
Tenth Fay and Alfred C. Grosse Seminar on Religion and the Literary Arts
Saturday, November 21, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church Dallas, 1835 Young St.
Marjorie Suchocki, Professor Emerita, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventThere is a freshness to the issues Christians usually consider when they are taken up by persons outside normal Christian fields of inquiry. This is particularly the case with films that powerfully present a problem within the lives of its characters, and then proceed to resolve that problem. Are there parallels to Christian resolutions? Contrasts? New insights? Through lecture, film, and discussion, this seminar will explore these issues.

Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki is the author of ten books, the latest being Through a Lens Darkly: Tracing Redemption in Film. She is the founding director of the Whitehead International Film Festival in Claremont, California, now beginning its fifteenth season. She serves on ecumenical juries at a number of film festivals, the most recent being the Washington D.C. Film Festival.

Communicating Faith in the 21st Century
Third James C. Suggs Seminar on Christian Communications
Saturday, January 9, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas, 7202 W. Northwest Highway
Larry Hollon, Writer, Producer, and former Chief Communication Executive, United Methodist Church

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventIn the media saturated world of the 21st Century, Christians face new challenges to communicate faith. New technologies give us more options for how we use our time, connect with others, and communicate. Always-on 24/7 media can assist us to build community and, conversely, can foster unhealthy individualism and isolation. We have access to information that empowers us and also undermines authority and values. This new communication environment presents Christians with exciting new opportunities to communicate the faith to new people in new ways. In this seminar we will explore the challenges of this new environment and discuss how it affects the way we tell the stories of Christian faith today.

Larry Hollon is an award-winning writer and producer who has advocated that communication is an expression of ministry. He has advocated for mainline Christian communions to recover their voice and contribute to the public conversation as a means of providing moral and ethical leadership in the new media environment of the 21st Century. He has worked in more than 50 countries for Fortune 500 companies, governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations. As head of United Methodist Communications for 15 years, he led the church public media, news, fundraising and marketing operations. Hollon is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church.

Luke and Early Christian Diversity
Saturday, January 23, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Acton United Methodist Church, 3433 Fall Creek Highway
Shelly Matthews, Associate Professor of New Testament, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventThe earliest Christians responded to teachings of and about Jesus in a wide variety of ways. Yet, the orthodox Christian affirmation is that all true Christians held identical beliefs from the very beginning. This workshop considers Luke (and Acts) as instrumental in shifting early Christians away from diversity and into uniformity through the stories the author tells and doesn’t tell. We will consider the importance of Luke’s stories, and those other stories, to the shaping of the church we envision in the 21st century.

Shelly Matthews is the author of First Converts: Rich Pagan Women and the Rhetoric of Mission in Early Judaism and Christianity, Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity which was hailed by the Journal of Religion as compulsory reading for those interested in Jewish-Christian relations, and The Acts of the Apostles: Taming the Tongues of Fire.

Re-Rereading, Re-Writing, Re-Telling Biblical Stories
Saturday, February 6, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church Dallas, 1835 Young St.
Wil Gafney, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventThis seminar will (re)introduce bible readers and hearers to a text that in spite of focusing overwhelmingly on male characters nevertheless offers a plethora of women whose presence invites reconsideration of the stories we may have learned. Beginning with the shape of the biblical canon itself in the first session, each subsequent session will explore biblical passages and characters that may be unfamiliar, translating and interpreting them for contemporary contexts while remaining faithful to their ancient contexts. We will consider what we mean as individuals and communities when we say “Bible” and how that differs, particularly among Christians presently and across time. And, we will reflect on how expanding our knowledge of the biblical text by focusing on the stories of women and other subordinated categories – slaves and non-Israelites – shapes our understandings of and perspectives on the bible as scripture.

Wil Gafney embodies a passion for teaching and her research and scholarship represent the leading edge of biblical scholarship. Dr. Gafney is the author of Daughters of Miriam and a co-editor for both The Peoples’ Bible and The Peoples’ Companion to the Bible. She is an ordained Episcopal priest, has experience as a military chaplain, and is invested in inter-religious conversation.

Money and the Way of Wisdom: Wealth and Poverty in the Book of Proverbs
Third James R. Reed Seminar on Christian Stewardship
Saturday, March 5, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas, 7202 W. Northwest Highway
Timothy J. Sandoval, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventThe Book of Proverbs talks about wealth and poverty and the rich and poor more than any other book in the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet far from offering readers a straightforward “guide to success” as is sometimes thought, the way Proverbs uses economic language is considerably more complex. Many lines in the book seem to link wealth with the attainment of wisdom or righteousness and to associate poverty with the way of folly and wickedness. Yet other lines demand that readers of the book show justice and compassion to the needy and give generously to the poor. This seminar will briefly describe biblical wisdom literature and then offer a more in depth study of aspects of the Book of Proverbs, focusing especially on what the book has to say about wealth and poverty and the rich and poor.

Timothy J. Sandoval focuses his research and teaching on questions of biblical interpretation, especially Latino/a biblical hermeneutics, and the study of Israel’s wisdom literature. He is the author of The Discourse of Wealth and Poverty in the Book of Proverbs and Money and the Way of Wisdom: Insights from the Book of Proverbs as well as a number of scholarly articles.

Memory, the Human Brain, and the Life of Faith
Fifth Betty Jo Hay Seminar on Religion and Mental Health
Saturday, April 2, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church Dallas, 1835 Young St.
David Hogue, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling, Garrett-Evangelcial Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL

Stalcup icons_RegisterStalcup icons_EventToday, in the relative infancy of neuroscience, scientists are making unprecedented forays into arenas of crucial interest to religion – claims that address our cherished understandings of personhood, of relationship, and ultimately of God. More than at any other time in history, biological sciences are making claims about the inner workings of the mind and soul, confirming some of our ancient convictions about personhood, and deeply challenging others. This seminar will sketch several of these claims, exploring their implications for the religious practices of individuals and communities, focusing specifically on the role of memory and stories, of our experiences of God and transcendence, and on our understanding of the religious dimensions of human relationships. How might our faith be informed; how might it be affirmed or challenged?

David Hogue is the author of Remembering the Future, Imagining the Past: Story, Ritual, and the Human Brain and several book chapters and journal articles exploring the intersection of ritual, liturgy, pastoral care and the neurosciences. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), David is a member and past chair of the Society for Pastoral Theology where he helped develop the Pastoral Theology and Brain Sciences working group.

 

 

Eilene Theilig

theilig_eilene_headshote.theilig@tcu.edu | 817.257.7582
Director of Lay and Continuing Education