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Affordances for Theological Education in An Age of Individualization

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Thursday, November 02, 2023
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The dominant model of theological education positioned schools of theology as centers for training leaders of many different kinds of voluntary associations. But now powerful economic, political, and cultural forces are unraveling the network of voluntary associations these schools emerged to serve. The record number of people who identify as “nones”—people without any particular religious affiliation—is only one index of this unraveling. As this wider ecology comes undone, schools of theology across the spectrum are struggling for students, funds, and purposes. But the same forces that are unraveling voluntary associations are also authorizing new values, characters, and organizations. Refusing narratives of both progress and decline, Smith tries to read these developments by an eschatological light. Seeing by that light, he tries to name a series of affordances for theological education in this time between the times.

Reception starts at 6 pm and lecture starts at 6:30pm.

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The Rev. Dr. Ted A. Smith is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Divinity and Associate Dean of Faculty at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He also serves as director of Theological Education between the Times, a project that gathers diverse groups of people to think together about the meanings and purposes of theological education. With Dr. Joanne Solis-Walker, he is co-Principal Investigator for Candler’s innovative Pathways for Tomorrow initiatives.

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