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“Wealth Disparities: The Role of Religious Leadership” Theme of 2013 Lectures

by Ashley Schaffner | Oct 29, 2013

Annual Edwards-Presler Lectures on Peace, Justice and Mission presented in partnership with the Center for Interfaith Relations

UPDATE: Missed the Presler lecture? See video

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s 2013 Edwards-Presler Lectures on Peace, Justice and Mission will be given by Dr. Shanta Premawardhana and Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty. Both lectures will take place at Caldwell Chapel on the Seminary’s campus (1044 Alta Vista Rd.) on November 14.

Premawardhana, president of SCUPE (Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education), will give the Presler lecture from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. His lecture is titled “Greed as Violence: The Role of the Global Church in Addressing the Enduring Spiritual Crisis of our Time.”

“Following the economic crisis of 2008, the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches declared that the greed that motivated the economic collapse is a violence that is perpetrated against those who are poor. It encouraged churches to learn from other religious communities, and to work together with them to engage what they deemed the enduring spiritual crisis of our time. How do we do this? Is this a theologically proper method? How do we address the challenges that inevitably arise in a way that is consistent with scripture and tradition? This lecture will address these questions and offer a way forward," said Premawardhana.

Hinson-Hasty is a Louisville Seminary alum and chair of the department of Theology and associate professor of Theology at Bellarmine University. She will give the Edwards lecture, which will address “The Problem of Wealth,” from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

"Today, we are facing the most significant moral and theological dilemma of our time as we confront the problem of wealth," said Hinson-Hasty.”Our current dominant methods of wealth creation continue to increase the wealth gap in the U.S. and between and among nations around the globe. According to the 2010 US Census, 46.2 million people in the U.S. live in poverty; the highest number since poverty estimates have been published.”

She continued, “U.S. consumption of energy, goods and natural resources is out of balance with the needs of other people around the world and threatens the survival of our planet. Those who live in poverty become the subjects of study when the problem is actually wealth and the way we create it. People of faith experience a sense of moral incoherence as they try to live out their faith in a society where money and creation of wealth have become such dominant goods. Despite these problems, religious leaders too often look to economic models to find solutions to these problems. Theological reflection enables us to discover and explore alternative ways of living and calls us to consider that the way we create wealth matters to people, to the earth, and to God."  

A reception in Winn Center will follow Hinson-Hasty’s lecture.

The Edwards Peacemaking Lectureship honors Dr. George Edwards and his wife, Jean. Dr. Edwards, who died in 2010, served the Seminary for 27 years as professor of New Testament. Together, the Edwards shared a ministry that was active in Christian efforts for peace and social justice. The Henry H. and Marion A. Presler Lectureship was established in 2006 to honor the lifetime missionary service of the Presler couple and to inspire the community about issues of global mission and the role of American denominations in their historical and present witness in mission.

Other learning opportunities: interfaith thanksgiving service, symposium on energy independence
As a follow-up to the May 2013 Festival of Faiths, Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion, the Center for Interfaith Relations is partnering with Louisville Seminary to present this year’s lectures and two other events. As part of the Center’s Festival of Faiths Fall Forums, the lectures will be held in conjunction with an interfaith thanksgiving service at the Cathedral of the Assumption on November 14 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and a symposium on energy independence and environmental sustainability at Bellarmine University (Frazier Hall, 2001 Newburg Rd.). The symposium, The Energy Independence Boom: A Call for Religious Leadership, will be held on November 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration information
The November 14 Edwards-Presler lectures are free and open to the public. However, registration is highly recommended. See a complete schedule and register here. The interfaith thanksgiving service is free, and there’s no need to register.

Cost of the symposium on November 15 is $25 and includes lunch. Read more and register for the symposium here.


About the Center for Interfaith Relations

The Center for Interfaith Relations (CIR) is a nonsectarian 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation. The CIR believes that the Divine is present in all persons and their faith traditions and that the community is enriched when members of religious traditions exercise in their civic life the values upheld by their beliefs.

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