College Mennonite Church will serve as host for the next installment in the Yoder Public Affairs Lecture series on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
During the upcoming lecture, author, professor and theologian Miroslav Volf will present the topic of “Humility and Joy: What We Can Still Learn from Martin Luther.” This lecture is free and open to the public.
Volf will be speaking as part of the Believer’s Church Conference in light of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. He will discuss Martin Luther, an influential figure during the period of the Reformation, and how Luther’s efforts continue to impact modern society.
Volf and his words are nothing new on the campus of Goshen College. Joe Liechty, professor and director of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies, taught Volf’s book “Exclusion and Embrace” every year from 2000 to 2016.
“‘Exclusion and Embrace,’” Liechty said, is “a must read for Christians interested in rooting their commitment to reconciliation and their approach to identity and otherness in the heart of their faith.”
The book is also a must read for any non-Christian interested in understanding what “ought to be the Christian approach to peace,” said Liechty.
Almost 20 years ago, Liechty co-led the Moving Beyond Sectarianism project in Northern Island, which hosted an international conference called Boundaries and Bonds, where Volf spoke. Volf’s respondent was Mary McAleese, a law professor who would later go on to be elected president of Ireland.
After Volf’s upcoming lecture, College Mennonite Church and the Yoder Public Affairs Lecture series will join the list of places where Volf has spoken, alongside the Dudleian Lectures, Harvard; the Grey Lectures, Duke University; the Chavesse Lectures, Oxford; the Waldenstroem Lectures, Stockholm; and the Stob Lectures, Calvin College.
Volf is the founder and director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and a Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School. Volf is a native of Croatia where he received a Bachelor of Arts from the Evangelical-Theological Seminary in Osljek. Later, Volf received his Master of Arts from Fuller Theological Seminary and later received two doctorates of theology from the University of Tubingen, Germany.
In addition to his studies, Volf is an award-winning author. In 2002, Volf received the Grawemeyer Award from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville for his book, “A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation.” Volf has written more than 90 scholarly articles.
Liechty said that McAleese’s initial response was, “I’ve never heard a talk that was so much a cross between a poem and a prayer.”
“I think students can expect an engaging, challenging, and accessible presentation on Friday night,” said Liechty. “I can’t say that [Volf] will rise to that standard [of the Boundaries and Bonds lecture] again, but I fully expect a memorable presentation.”