Lifelong Learning: Continuing Education

Continuing Education Events

We believe that continuing education is integral to lay and ordained ministry to our churches and communities. This calendar pulls together the innovative continuing education programs offered through Virginia Theological Seminary. These lectures, multi-day conferences, workshops, and degree courses are open to all continuing education students.

List of 1 events.

  • Costan Lecture Series

    2018 Costan Lecture Series - Sin, Racism and the Challenge of Contemplation: A Theological Proposal

    Registration available online here.

    In these three Costan Lectures Sarah Coakley explores afresh the nature of sin and the Fall, and probes the intrinsic relation to contemporary issues of racism and other systemic forms of prejudice. Starting from an analysis of some unexpected events in an American jail, she unfolds a theory of racism as sin (understood as the mis-aggregation of desire and the projective blame of the 'other'). She goes on to consider how sin/racism at its root distorts both sensual and moral perception, and asks under what (contemplative) conditions such a malaise could begin to be healed. Acknowledging the ways in which modern Euro-American racism is itself the product of a Christian culture, she turns back to early modern mystical theology to enquire whether it has any remaining lessons for today's agonies about racial division, and about the strange theological ambiguities of "blackness" and "darkness" that run through them. If writers as diverse as John of the Cross and Howard Thurman see the embracing of contemplative divine darkness as purgative of sin and blindness, what might this mean for the prospects of mutual spiritual redemption and social transformation?

    September 25: In the Jail: Systemic Racism, Contemplation, and the Problem of "Seeing"
    September 26: Reconsidering the Fall: Desire Gone Awry and Its Consequences
    September 27: On the Way to Union? How "Divine Darkness" Convicts the Sin of Racism
    Lettie Pate Evans Multipurpose Room, Addison Academic Center
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