Southwest Hosts Re-imagined Blandy Lecture and Symposium


On January 14, Seminary of the Southwest presented the 52nd Annual Blandy Lecture and Symposium, featuring the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and the Bill and Judith Moyers Chair in Theology at Union.

Dean Douglas presented a talk on ‘Being Church in the Time of Black Lives Matter.’ This year’s Blandy Lecture – rescheduled from November – was presented in an online format. 

“The reimagined Blandy event brought together alumni/ae from around the country, with people from parishes throughout Austin, and guests from around the Church. Dean Douglas brought to bear incisive theological analysis to “the silence of good White Christians” about the effects of racism on communities of color,” said the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, dean and president. “She challenged the church to remember, to repent, and to “be church” in contemporary America. In the symposium that followed we wrestled with how to be teachers and healers in congregations where Jesus’ bold teaching challenges the status quo.”

Following the lecture, a virtual symposium took place, led by The Iona Collaborative staff. They encouraged attendees to reflect on Dr. Douglas’ presentation and then speak about how her words might influence and even transform particular practices in their own local church communities. Attendees were split into break-out groups and given specific questions to consider following the lecture.

“Our goal for the Symposium was to offer participants a framework for theological reflection that brought the themes of Dean Douglas’s talk into conversation with Scripture and their own individual contexts.  Small-group conversation and collaboration centered on biblical texts are a hallmark of Iona Center programming; and we look forward to hosting other events like this one in the future,” said the Very Rev. Nandra Perry, Assistant Director of the Iona Collaborative at Seminary of the Southwest.

Next in Southwest’s speaker series will be the Payne Lecture, featuring civil rights icon Ruby Sales, on February 9th.