Lyman Beecher Lectures
The Lyman Beecher Lectureship was founded in 1871 by a gift from Henry W. Sage of Brooklyn, NY, as a memorial to the great divine whose name it bears, to sponsor an annual series of lectures on a topic appropriate to the work of the ministry.
This year’s speaker is Anna Carter Florence.
Anna Carter Florence is the Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary. She is interested in historical, theological, aesthetic, and performative dimensions of preaching and the ways preaching engages other fields and different traditions. Her research focuses on testimony, feminist theology, the role of experience in preaching, and the history of preaching women.
Florence earned her B.A. at Yale University, an M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary, and her Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary. The theme of her Beecher Lectures is "The Word in the Repertory Church."
Lecture I: The Script in the Scripture, the Word in Rehearsal: Proclamation in the Repertory Church
Lecture II: It Could Have Gone Differently: Repertory Readings of Texts of Terror
Lecture III: Old Texts, New Works: The Repertory Preacher and the Company of Grace
This year’s Cheney Lecture-Event is an ecumenical Eucharist featuring Theodicy Jazz Collective performing the American debut of the "Canterbury Jazz Mass" by Andy Barnett ’12 M.Div., with commentary by Professor Thomas Troeger.
Andy Barnett’12 M.Div. is a musician, environmental problem solver, and educator. Hailing from Minnesota, he studied music and environmental studies at Oberlin, then attended Yale Divinity School and Yale Environment School, where he secured over $100,000 to study theology and community climate solutions. He researched and wrote for the Presidential Climate Action Project- a menu of policy options that was presented to Barack Obama in a personal meeting. He also partnered with Oberlin’s data monitoring team to secure a $75,000 People, Planet, Prosperity grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. After observing the UN climate talks in Copenhagen (2010), Andy’s published writing reached 675,000 readers in three states.
Maintaining an active music schedule, Andy has composed and played for Canterbury Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Yale University, Trinity Church-Wall Street, Trinity Cathedral-Cleveland, and over 20 churches throughout the US and UK. After two years as music director at the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and James, attendance nearly doubled and giving nearly tripled. In June 2012, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale honored Andy as the graduating student who most effectively promoted community among Episcopal students. Beyond work, he loves running, tennis, dogs, and the Minnesota Twins.
Canterbury Jazz Mass ponders the depths of ancient Christian mystery through the lens of jazz rhythm and harmony. Canterbury Cathedral commissioned Will Cleary and Andy Barnett to compose the five-movement Latin mass for choir and jazz octet, and Theodicy Jazz Collective premiered the work with Canterbury's choir on June 17. Jazz musicians jammed with a choir of men and boys, majestic organ, and over 800 pilgrims in a worship service deemed "an absolute triumph" by Canterbury's dean Robert Willis.
Thomas H. Troeger is the J. Edward and Ruth Cox Lantz Professor of Christian Communication.
He has written twenty books in the fields of preaching, poetry, hymnody and worship, is a frequent contributor to journals dedicated to these topics, and is a monthly columnist for Lectionary Homiletics and The American Organist.
He is also a flutist and a poet whose work appears in the hymnals of most denominations and is frequently set as choral anthems. He serves as national chaplain to the American Guild of Organists and is a former president of the Academy of Homiletics (the North American guild of scholars in homiletics) and the immediate past President of Societas Homiletica (the international guild of scholars in homiletics).
The performance and preaching is supported by the Francis Cheney Lectureship of the Berkeley Divinity School.
This year’s speaker is John D. Witvliet, the director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of worship, theology, and congregational and ministry studies at Calvin College.
Lecture: The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: Overlapping Scripts in the Unfolding Drama of Liturgical Performance."
The talk will describe a sampling of the multiple ways that the biblical Psalms function within the script of Christian worship in the West, exploring how rubrics, formal and informal liturgical gestures, and musical motifs frame the reception of the biblical text. It will draw on examples across the spectrum of denominational traditions, and ask how recent biblical scholarship might inform and challenge emerging work on the Psalms in liturgy, preaching, pastoral care, education, and Christian witness.
John Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and serves as professor of music and worship at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, respectively. He also teaches in the religion department at Calvin College. His areas of interest include the history of Christian worship, worship practices in various denominations, biblical and systematic theology of worship, the role of music and the arts in worship, and consulting with churches on worship renewal.
A graduate of Calvin College, Dr. Witvliet holds graduate degrees in theology from Calvin Theology Seminary, in choral music from the University of Illinois, and the Ph.D. in liturgical studies and theology from the University of Notre Dame.
Witvliet is the author of numerous books about Christian worship.
The Kavanagh Lecture, presented by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, is named for the late Professor Emeritus of Liturgics Aidan J. Kavanagh O.S.B., and given in conjunction with Convocation Week at Yale Divinity School.