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Malcolm Guite to Deliver 2019 Laing Lectures, April 9–11

January 31, 2019
"We need to recover confidence in the baptised imagination as a truth-bearing faculty."

Last year, Regent College was honoured that Dr. Lamin Sanneh—a Gambian scholar and leading thinker in World Christianity—had agreed to come to Regent as our 2019 Laing Lecturer. Sadly, Dr. Sanneh passed away on January 6, 2019 at the age of 76, survived by his wife, son, and daughter. Christianity Today published a collection of reflections on Sanneh’s remarkable life and career from a number of friends and fellow scholars. 

As we continue to grieve this loss, we are grateful for Dr. Malcolm Guite, who has agreed to serve as our new 2019 Laing Lecturer. His lecture series, entitled “Imagining the Kingdom: Parable, Poetry, and Gospel,” will run from April 9–11, 2019. Please note that these are not the same dates that Dr. Sanneh had planned on delivering his lectures. 

Dr. Guite has become one of the chief imaginations in today’s church, having published numerous popular works of theology, literary analysis, and poetry. He has toured widely in Europe and North America, lecturing everywhere from community churches to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. He is renowned for combining great erudition with a trademark zest, humour, and knack for storytelling—not to mention a formidable reserve of memorized verse. His most recent major work is Mariner, a spiritual biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (February 2017), which the Times Literary Supplement called a “fascinating investigation [that] haunts the mind long after the book is closed.”

Dr. Guite’s lectures will be entitled “Imagining the Kingdom: Parable, Poetry, and Gospel.” He describes the series as follows:

From the first moment that he proclaims the Kingdom of God, Jesus appeals to our imagination. He makes that appeal through the parables of the kingdom, the paradoxes of the gospel, the enigmatic and beautiful signs he gave in his miracles and in those moments when the heavens open and the ordinary is transfigured. In the gift of faith, and in Christ himself, we glimpse more than we can yet understand: Our imagination apprehends more than our reason comprehends. This is not to say that the gospel is in any way “imaginary” in the dismissive sense of “unreal” or “untrue.” On the contrary it is so real and so true that we need every faculty of mind and body, including imagination, to apprehend it. In an age of linear, one-level readings of the word and the world, we need to recover confidence in the baptised imagination as a truth-bearing faculty.

At the 2019 Laing Lectures, hear Dr. Malcolm Guite make the case for a faith that is imaginatively grasped and imaginatively proclaimed. Consider in turn Christ’s appeal to the poetic, the moral, and the prophetic imagination.  

Stay tuned for full details, coming soon. 

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