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Fall lectures feature experts on missions, peace, and justice

Oct 15, 2007
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will hold the second annual Edwards-Presler Lectureship on Justice and Mission October 24-25 and feature two outstanding thinkers and writers who will focus on the reconciling work and study of missions, peace, and justice.

The endowed lectures, which will be held in the Frank H. Caldwell Chapel at Louisville Seminary, are open to the public, and they are free of charge.

As the Henry H. and Marion A. Presler Lecturer, Carlos Cardoza-Orlandi, an expert on religion in the global south, will present Mission Impossible? Faith at the Crossroads of People and Religion, October 24 at 10 a.m.

The 2007 Edwards Lecturer on Peace and Justice is University of Virginia’s Charles Marsh, who will present The Beloved Community: American Search, Christian Hope, Human Struggle at a Thursday evening lecture on October 25 at 7 p.m.

Cardoza-Orlandi is Associate Professor of World Christianity at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. As a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Cardoza-Orlandi believes that missions and ecumenism are deeply connected to an understanding of congregations and community. He is particularly interested in historical, religious, and missiological interpretations of global religions, especially in the Third World, and in Latin America and the Caribbean. His examination of the globalization of Christianity and various themes, theories, and theology in the study of religion are evident in his publications, which include his forthcoming book, A todas las naciones: Una historia del movimiento christiano, co-authored with Justo L. Gonzalez; Mission: An Essential Guide (2002); “Re-discovering Caribbean Christian Identity: Biography and Missiology at the Shore” in Voices (2004); and “Mission at the Borders,” in Teaching Mission in a Global Context (2001).

Marsh is Professor of Religious and Theological Studies and Director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia. He was raised in a southern minister’s home. After publishing Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Promise of His Theology (Oxford, 1994), he began considering the religious and moral paradoxes of his white southern Protestant upbringing and found that the stories of ordinary people of faith became the means of expression for his theological writing. Out of this resulted God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights (Princeton, 1997), which won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion, a $200,000 prize sponsored jointly by Louisville Seminary and the University of Louisville. The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today (Basic, 2005), offers a fresh interpretation of the American search for authentic community in the decades since the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement and includes a narrative of the rise and fall of the evangelical counter-culture. Marsh’s new book, Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity (Oxford, June 2007), engages the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, within a theological analysis of the contemporary religious situation in the United States.

The Henry H. and Marion A. Presler Lectureship was established in 2006 to honor the couple’s missionary service and to inspire the Louisville Seminary community and its wider Lifelong Learning community about issues of global mission and the role of American denominations in their historical and present witness to missions. The topics of the lectures vary, but the overall theme is Jesus Christ’s commission to the church in Matthew 28:19- 20 to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”

Dr. Henry Presler studied for two years at LPTS and then transferred to Boston University School of Theology. He and his spouse, Marion, were missionaries serving for a time as faculty members at Leonard Theological College in Jabalpur, Madya Pradesh, India. In his later years he remembered his formative time at Louisville Seminary and left a fund which provides for this lectureship.

Established in 1986, The Edwards Lecture on Peace and Justice honors Professor Emeritus George Edwards and his wife, Jean. Dr. Edwards, an alum of Louisville Seminary (BD ‘51), served the Seminary for 27 years as Professor of New Testament. Together the Edwards have long been active in Christian efforts for peace and social justice.

For more information about the free fall lecture series or accommodations contact the Office of Lifelong Learning, 800.264.1839 or 502.895.3411, ext. 429.

Download Lectures Brochure

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