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Payne Lecture with Dr. Donyelle McCray

2024 Payne Lecture featuring Dr. Donyelle McCray

This year’s Payne lecturer is Dr. Donyelle McCray, Associate Professor of Homiletics at Yale Divinity School. Her scholarship focuses on African American preaching, sermon genre, and medieval women’s spirituality. She is the author of The Censored Pulpit: Julian of Norwich as Preacher. The lecture will be presented in person at Seminary of the Southwest and live-streamed at the website and the Southwest Facebook page.

View the live-stream for the event here.

Hosted by Seminary of the Southwest’s Board of Trustees, the Payne Lecture is an annual event that focuses on mission and honors the Rt. Rev. Claude E. Payne, former chair of the seminary’s board and bishop of the Diocese of Texas, retired.

Donyelle McCray studies homiletics and Christian spirituality, focusing on African American preaching, sermon genre, and modes of authority. In her work, the sermon occupies the shoreline between sacred and profane speech and holds emancipatory potential within Christian liturgies and beyond them.  She writes about the ways African American women and lay people use the sermon to play, remember, invent, and disrupt. Her recent book, The Censored Pulpit: Julian of Norwich as Preacher, offers a homiletical reading of Julian’s life and ministry and attends to the relationship between preaching, embodiment, and authority. Her current research examines the preaching and spirituality of the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray. She is also working on a documentary film as part of the Louisville Institute’s Clergy-Scholar Research team on Race, Church, and Theological Practices.

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