chimes.sum2013.web0729 - page 36

Spring lecture series brings
prominent speakers to SFTS
By Melody Stanford
T.V. Moore Lecture Series
S
an Francisco Theological Semi-
nary hosted the annual T.V.
Moore lecture series April 11–13.
The community welcomed as guest
lecturer Dr. Andrea White, associate
professor of theology and culture at
Emory University’s Candler School of
Theology.
White spoke on a variety of sub-
jects growing out of her interdisciplin-
ary work in philosophy, Womanist
theology, and bodies. In four engaging
sessions, she shared her work on the-
ologies of time, death, flesh, and love.
Time
, she stated, is the real in-
tent behind stewardship; anxiety
about money actually results from
our attempts to secure a certain kind
of future. Calling into question the
ethics of excess and ownership, White
challenged the audience to reconsider
beliefs about wealth and faithful in-
vestment of time in light of divine
abundance. “Possessions by nature
seek to possess us,” she said. Steward-
ship, then, is living into God’s future.
She also discussed time-poverty, a per-
vasive situation in today’s society in
which there is no time for rest. Stew-
ardship includes Sabbath rest; the Fall
of humankind was a fall from rest.
Seen in this context, she said, ques-
tions about time and resource manage-
ment can be translated into theologi-
cal questions about hope and salvation.
Death
is often the subject of
prophetic discourse in contextual the-
ologies such as Womanist theology,
White said. Confronting systems of
oppression is necessary but can lead to
the loss of hope in the face of death
and suffering. When hope is not an
active part of a theology for the op-
pressed, it furthers the myth that God
is absent from those who suffer. In
order to have a practical eschatology,
Womanist and prophetic theologians
must reconstruct hope for the future
and re-imagine new directions for a
faith of liberation.
Flesh
and its relationship to the
imago dei have puzzled theologians
for centuries, White said. How might
we revise our understandings of bod-
ies, narrative, identity, and revelation?
Womanist theology demonstrates that
the bodies of black women, which
historically have been essentialized,
colonized, and maligned as “other,”
do, in fact, bear the image of God.
Embodiment matters to God, and our
embodiment is not imago dei because
of our gender or skin color but because
we are relational beings, grounded in
Christ. Bodies are “non-written texts”
in which experiences of dehuman-
ization are invisible and often silent.
Womanist scholarship helps us recon-
figure human personhood through
T.V. Moore
Lecture
Series
ALUMNI
NEWS
34
SFTS CHIMES | Summer 2013
“Possessions
by nature
seek to
possess us.”
— Dr. Andrea
White
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