Steelman Lectures

The Margaret A. Steelman Lectures were endowed in 1998 with a gift from Dr. Sanford L. Steelman in honor of his wife,  Margaret A. Steelman, and to establish a legacy at the newly established School of Divinity at Wake Forest University. The Steelmans were originally from Hickory and returned there to retire in 1988.  Dr. Steelman spent 28 years with Merck Research Laboratories in New Jersey.  His career as a biochemist was distinguished with hundreds of scientific articles and five patents.  They were active members of First Baptist Church, Hickory, NC. This lectureship provides funding for prominent lecturers of Judeo-Christian theology.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
Location TBA

The School of Divinity is pleased to announce that Samuel Y. Pang, Professor of Inter-cultural Studies and World Christianity at the College of Theology and United Graduate School of Theology at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, will be the 2017 Steelman Lecturer.

Pang received his Ph.D. in Inter-Cultural Studies from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland; M.Th. Studies of World Chrisitianity and Religion from  The University of Edinburgh, Scotland; and a B.A. Philosophy and Religious Studies from the State University of New York.


Dr. Elizabeth Johnson
Distinguished Professor of Theology, Fordham University
“Is God’s Charity Broad Enough for Bears?”

“Is God’s Charity Broad Enough for Bears?” is inspired from an observation by the naturalist John Muir. Coming upon a dead bear in the woods, he scorned those religious folk who excluded such noble creatures from divine mercy. To the contrary, he wrote, “God’s charity is broad enough for bears.” Is it? Making use of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, this lecture explores key theological themes needed for conversion to the earth in this age of ecological crisis. Rather than forcing a choice between heaven or earth, we seek to invigorate ethical behavior that cares for plants and animals with a passion integral to belief in the living God.


The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery
Dean of Duke Chapel and Associate Professor of the Practice of Homiletics, Duke Divinity School
“The Spiritual Mode of Preaching.”


Diana Butler Bass, author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture
Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening”

No audio available.


Dr. William Schweiker
Director of the Martin Marty Center and Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics, University of Chicago Divinity School.
“Are Religious Convictions Bad for the Planet?.”