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The Laing Lectures

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Date: March 20–March 22, 2018
Location: Regent College, 5800 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC

You are warmly invited to join us for the 2018 Laing Lectures from March 20 to 22 at Regent College. Respected theologian Dr. Stanley Hauerwas will deliver three lectures on the theme of "Theological Existence Today." If you are unable to join us in person, you can watch the lectures live at 7:30 PM PST nightly via a live video stream here.

Click here to read a short interview in which Dr. Hauerwas previews his talks. 

March 20: The Christian Message in the World Today

Lecture description: After WWII, Karl Barth’s writings urged the European church to free itself from bondage to the societal and cultural status it had in the past. Rather than maintain its attachment to its own history, the church must root itself in the ultimate historical event—the incarnation of Christ. With Barth’s insights as a foundation, Hauerwas turns to the North American church, suggesting provocatively that perhaps we have not left Christendom behind so thoroughly as we might think—suggesting that we, like post-war Europeans, need to carefully consider where we may have mistaken devotion to nation for devotion to Christ.

March 21: The Christian Message and Humanism

Lecture description: In this lecture, Hauerwas turns his focus onto Karl Barth’s response to the “new humanism” of the late 1940s. At this time, many sought ways of re-establishing Enlightenment humanism in the face of the war’s worst atrocities. Barth would have none of it. It is not the return of a secular optimism toward humankind that we need, Barth argued, but rather the “humanism of God.” In contrast to the new humanism, Barth contended that all things human are to be regarded only from the cross. In today's context as in Barth's, only with an anthropology planted firmly in Christ can the church find its lost theological voice amidst a fading Christendom.

March 22: The Church and Civil Society

Lecture description: For Hauerwas, as for Karl Barth, the state is one of God’s redeemed creatures. Even a state that has rebelled against its divine calling can’t fully escape the reality of God’s purposes. And if the state is redeemed, then church must not wash its hands of it as it once washed its hands of Christ. Instead the church must learn to speak about Christ truthfully and boldly in the world. Hauerwas, grounded again in Barth, puts forward one method of how to do so: by anchoring our own political ideals not in this or that “ism,” but on what has been revealed to us of the workings of Christ’s Kingdom.

All lectures will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 pm in the Regent College Chapel. The event is free of charge and entry is first-come, first-served up to capacity.

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