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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Special events

There were a couple at Seabury, this week. Thursday night was the installation of our new dean, the Rev. Gary Hall. As you can well imagine, much pomp and circumstance accompanied this moment; and between faculty, clergy and students, those attending without being vested in some sort of academic or ecclesial attire were definitely in the minority.

The installation fell in the middle of the Winslow Lectures-- a series of four presentations, given by some noted (one might even say renowned) theologians. The third of these presenters was our own AKMA - pardon me, the Rev. Dr. A. K. M. Adam. This was especially significant, as the presentation marked his official inaugural lecture as full Professor of New Testament at Seabury. I will admit to a decided bias in favor of my favorite NT scholar; but even so, the consensus was that his dissection of the signification of meaning, and its impact on the interpretation of scripture, was (even to my decidedly non-academic ears) a brilliant piece of work.

My other favorite lecturer was the first in the series, a gently-spoken man named Stephen Fowl. His presentation on Aquinas' sense of the multifacted literal interpretation of scripture was both well-structured and cogent, and given in a comfortable style that did not require a theological translator to understand.

All in all, it was a wonderful series, and I'm glad I was able to attend all the lectures. I only have one quibble with the whole thing. Without meaning any disrespect to the gifted theologians who were invited, and with due regard for their obvious hermeneutical skills, I can't help but recall the group of caucasian, middle-aged, middle-class, bearded men with glasses who presented, and wonder if there wasn't at least one equally qualified theologian somewhere in the world who fell outside this normative system, and who could have been invited to participate. . .


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