Never before has hope in politics and for a better world risen as high as since the election of Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected president of South Africa, and Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the United States. In both situations however, many people believe that their hope has been disappointed, and many struggle with the wounds of ongoing injustices, of ideals shattered, of dreams deferred. Hope seems to have no place in the politics of our time. Where do we go with our woundedness? Have we spoken too easily or too carelessly of hope? Do we give up on hope and do we withdraw from politics altogether? But then what about our faith in and our work for a better world? These two lectures reflect on these questions.
Registration Deadline: February 21, 2013
3:30- 4:00 P.M. - Registration/Check in
4:00- 5:30 P.M. - Afternoon Lecture, Shelton Auditorium, CTS
“Speaking of Hope is Speaking of Woundedness”
This lecture reflects on the premise that speaking of hope is only possible when we are willing to admit our woundedness and our dependence on a fragile, but resilient faith. The way we speak about God may help us to better understand the way we speak of hope.
5:30- 6:30 P.M - Dinner, The Common Room, CTS
6:30- 8:00 P.M. - Evening Lecture, Shelton Auditorium, CTS
“Speaking of Hope is Speaking of Struggle”
This lecture argues that we discover hope only in situations of struggle. The fulfillment of hope is not possible for one person alone, however high the office they hold. Hope is fulfilled only in the struggle together for a better world. Hope is, as St. Augustine argues, marked by anger and courage, and undergirded by faith. Examples from the South African struggle for freedom and justice help to illuminate the meaning of hope in struggle.
Allan Aubrey Boesak, a native of S. Africa, received his PhD in Theology from the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, the Netherlands. He has served the church and the ecumenical movement in various capacities, including as the youngest ever president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the first from the global South. He led the WARC to declare apartheid to be a heresy. In 1983, Dr. Boesak called for the formation of the United Democratic Front, which became the largest organized anti-apartheid movement in the history of South Africa. He continues to be passionately involved in global struggles for human rights and justice for all persons. Dr. Boesak is the author of numerous books, including most recently Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism, with Paul DeYoung. He has received numerous awards, including the Robert Kennedy Human Rights award and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Peace Award. He also the recipient of twelve honorary degrees, including from Yale University and the University of Geneva. Dr. Boesak is a visiting professor at CTS for the spring term.