Ethicist David Gushee to speak at Wayland's Willson Lectures

February 12, 2010

PLAINVIEW – Dr. David P. Gushee, noted Christian ethicist and Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Willson Lectures at Wayland Baptist University.

Slated March 4 and 5, the Willson Lectures will include an evening banquet on March 4 featuring Gushee’s lecture on the role of the Christian university in higher education as well as a lecture on marriage and family in the university’s chapel service at 11 a.m. on March 5 in Harral Auditorium. An informal question and answer session with Gushee will follow from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Nunn Auditorium. All events are open to the public.

Gushee earned his Bachelor of Arts at the College of William and Mary (1984), Master of Divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1987) and both the Master of Philosophy (1990) and Doctor of Philosophy (1993) at Union Theological Seminary in New York. H came to Mercer in 2007 from Union University, where he served for 11 years as Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy.

As University Professor, Gushee teaches at McAfee School of Theology and throughout Mercer in his specialty, Christian ethics. Beyond his work at Mercer, he is the president of Evangelicals for Human Rights, a columnist for Associated Baptist Press, and a contributing editor for Christianity Today. Gushee also currently serves as co-chair of the Biblical/Contextual Ethics Group of the American Academy of Religion and on the Christian Ethics Commission of the Baptist World Alliance.

He has published 11 books, more than 80 scholarly essays, book chapters, articles, and reviews, and hundreds of magazine articles and opinion pieces. His books include the award-winning Kingdom Ethics, Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Only Human, The

Future of Faith in American Politics and The Scholarly Vocation and the Baptist Academy. He was the principal drafter of both the Evangelical Climate Initiative (2006) and the Evangelical Declaration against Torture (2007).

Currently, Dr. Gushee’s research interests focus on issues emerging at the intersection between Christian faith, ethics and public policy. His next book project, with

Eerdmans Press, explores the theological and ethical roots of, and implications of, belief in the sanctity of human life.

The Willson Lectures were established in 1950 by gifts from Floydada residents James M. and Mavis Willson. Successful business persons and active community residents, the Willsons were dedicated Methodist laypersons who were active in their local church. In addition, Mr. Willson served as a trustee at McMurry University, Southern Methodist University, and the former Methodist Hospital in Lubbock, where he was vice president of that board.

     Willson was the recipient of several awards and honors, including honorary doctorates from Texas Wesleyan University and McMurry University. He was given a humanities award from Southwestern College and a merit award from Wayland. Wayland also nominated him for the Freedom Foundation Award in 1960, which he received in Valley Forge, Pa. He participated in numerous civic and service organizations, including the West Texas Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, the Masons and the Shriners.

     The Willsons intended for the annual lectureship to feature topics related to “Applied Christianity” and “Christian Home and Family Life,” and they worked to secure outstanding speakers over the years. Former lecturers have included atomic scientist Dr. George K. Schweitzer; former Southwestern Seminary president Dr. Duke McCall; Dr. Leon McBeth, noted church historian; and Dr. Grover Murray, former president of Texas Tech University.

Tickets to the Thursday dinner are $10 per person and may be reserved through the President’s Office at 291-3400. Reservations will be accepted through February 24 for the dinner. All other events are free and open to the public.

Online links to Gushee speaking events (streamed video and/or audio):