Sewanee visited by major Anglican leader

By Richard Pryor, III

Staff Writer

At the end of September, the University’s School of Theology welcomed former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as a speaker for the annual DuBose Lecture Series. The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Lord Williams of Oystermouth was the distinguished guest of the School of Theology for a mid-week period.

Williams’s discussions focused on the topic of Bonhoeffer Revisited: From Christology to Politics. He gave three talks: Modern Christology and the Reformation Legacy, Bonhoeffer’s Christology—Christ for Me, and Bonhoeffer’s Ethics: Representing Humanity in Christ. At the School of Theology’s Annual Memorial Eucharist that week, Dean J. Neil Alexander and Chancellor Samuel Johnson Howard presented Williams with an honorary Doctor of Divinity (D.D.). Williams signed copies of his books, and participated in a question and answer session with Dean Alexander.

Many alumni and friends of the University outside the School of Theology attended the Lectures as part of “Continuing Education,” a program the School of Theology established to offer lectures and workshops for their graduates, and students at the College of Arts and Sciences. Sarah Trumbore (C’18), a self-professed “church nerd,” said that, by attending, “all [her] dreams came true.” Livia Karoui (C’20), who went to secondary school in England, said the visit was “very exciting, considering he was the head of the Anglican Communion. And he married Will and Kate!”

During his conversation with Dean Alexander, Archbishop Williams discussed the beloved Royal Wedding in 2011.  “Once it started, it was rather like taking a normal wedding. Slightly more cameras than usual,” said Williams. He revealed that the day before the wedding, he told the pair, “Once you get up there, … you won’t remember the cameras or the reporters. You’re marrying each other.”

Williams has had an illustrious career as Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England, and Head of the Anglican Communion from 2002 to 2013. He is currently Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Before his service in Canterbury, he served two years as the Archbishop of Wales, ten years as the Bishop of Monmouth in Wales, and as the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford University.

Next year’s DuBose Lectures will take place September 27 and 28. The speaker will be Rev. Dr. Mark McIntosh, a Professor of Christian Spirituality at Loyola University. His research discusses the interaction between systematic and historical theology as well as the history and theology of Christian Spirituality and mystical thought. He previously served as chaplain to the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, and was Canon Theologian to Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.