Are We Still of Any Use? The Audacious Hope of the Engaged Scholar

Posted on December 28, 2015 by PLT Staff

Lecture given by Charles Marsh at the 2011 Lilly Fellows National Conference: Reconciliation in History, Literature, and Music at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Drawing on the thoughts of theologians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and events like the civil rights movement, Marsh concludes that engaged scholarship is more than mere presence. It lives under the storied communication of God’s will for humanity, and hope is a lived response to an ontological fact. The lecture begins at the 2:50 minute mark. For a listing of all our Occasional Lectures, click here.

Excerpt: “He [Bonhoeffer] said in this astonishing piece that is often entitled “After Ten Years” that he had learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, and the reviled. In short, from the perspective of the suffering. He said, ‘We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds. Experience has rendered us suspicious of too many things and often we have failed to speak of them to the world, a true and open word.’ Then he asked, ‘Are we still of any use?'”

  • Video Information
  • Date Recorded:October 21, 2011
  • Location Recorded:Birmingham, AL
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