The First African American to Deliver the Bampton Lectures at the University of Oxford

Willie James Jennings an associate professor of systematic theology at Yale Divinity School, has been selected to deliver the Bampton Lectures for 2023 at the University of Oxford in England. He is the first African American selected to give these lectures in the 243-year history of the program.

Founded by a bequest of English churchman John Bampton (1690–1751), the Bampton Lectures began in 1780 — initially as annual lectures and, since the turn of the 20th century, typically on a biennial basis. Focused on Christian theological topics, the lectures are traditionally published in book form. Dr. Jennings will give the lectures at Oxford’s University Church on May 23 and May 30. The four-part series is titled, “Jesus and the Displaced: Christology and the Redemption of Habitation.”

Dr. Jennings has served on the Yale Divinity School faculty since 2015 following 25 years at Duke Divinity School, where he taught theology and served for 10 years as academic dean. In 2015, he was awarded the Grawemeyer Award in Religion, the largest prize for a theological work in North America. Dr. Jennings is the author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale University Press, 2010) and After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging (Eerdmans, 2020).

An ordained Baptist minister, Dr. Jennings is a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He holds a master of divinity degree from the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and a Ph.D. in religion and ethics from Duke University.

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