Home > Queensland Synod News > Quaker scholar to lecture Assembly

Quaker scholar to lecture Assembly

Dr Daniel Smith-Christopher will be the Cato Lecturer
THE 12TH Assembly Cato Lecturer has been announced as Los Angeles-based Biblical theologian, author, and Quaker Dr Daniel Smith-Christopher.

The purpose of the Cato lecture is to present an international theologian who will inspire the Uniting Church Assembly body with a new perspective.

President-elect Rev Alistair Macrae is excited about hearing Dr Smith-Christopher again. The first time Mr Macrae heard him speak was at NCYC in Launceston in 1997.

“He gave a set of Bible studies on Jonah which was utterly compelling,” Mr Macrae said. “His particular academic and personal passions include peacemaking, indigenous and cross-cultural theology.”

“He knows Australia and the Uniting Church in Australia well, and has been here a number of times.”

In addition to the 12th Assembly lecture, Dr Smith-Christopher also has an action-packed State-wide itinerary.

This includes a keynote address at the Justice Convention in Melbourne and a lecture at Wisdom’s Feast, both in association with the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.

Held at the Centre for Theology and Ministry, Wisdom’s Feast is a continuing education event for ministers and lay leaders offering Bible, theology, and ministry resources, and looking at worship and the arts.

Dr Smith-Christopher will contribute to the continuing education program at Perth Theological Hall as well as teach at the School of Discipleship in Canberra and Tasmania.

He is also keen to meet with Indigenous thinkers. He will spend time at Nungalinya College in Darwin and lead a Bible Study at the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress National Conference.

The Assembly Cato Lecture is titled “Overboard with Jonah; Over the Line with Ezra: Biblical Themes for the Church in Exile”.

Mr Macrae sees this topic as particularly relevant to the Uniting Church.

“The main reason I invited Daniel is because his work on the Hebrew exile draws links between that experience and the current experience of mainline churches,” he said.

”We’ve been thrust, kicking and screaming, from the centre of culture and have landed on the edge.

“Dr Smith-Christopher uses Biblical reflection to assist the contemporary church to be faithful.

“His lecture promises to aid us in thinking about how we might do church in a radically different context.

“It may also help bring about the change in imagination we need.”

Photo : Dr Daniel Smith-Christopher will be the Cato Lecturer