Kent Mathews Endowed Lectureship in Christian Social Ethics

The Kent Mathews Lectureship is an important part of the Vernon Grounds Institute of Public Ethics.

Kent Mathews graduated from Denver Seminary in 1985 with a degree in counseling. During his years at Denver Seminary, he was most heavily impacted by the life and ministry of Dr. Vernon Grounds. Kent's strong sense of both justice and compassion for the marginalized characterized his life and work until his death in 1994. To honor Kent's life and continue his legacy in the area of Christian social ethics, Mr. Randall and Dr. Alice Mathews have formed this endowed lectureship so that similar passion may be inspired in the lives of future Denver Seminary students.

This annual lectureship seeks to cultivate a biblical, social ethic by addressing aspects of the obligations, virtues, values and vision essential to a thoroughly Christ-like social ethic. Specifically, the lectureship explores the aspects of these four themes by addressing the biblical, theological and philosophical nature of our obligations; the personal character dimensions of social ethics; the values reflected in social justice; and the concrete responses to which we are called.

2014-2015 Theme - Exploring the Bases and Ethical Implications of Capital Punishment

Kent Matthew Endowed Lectureship in Christian Social Ethics: Biblical and Theological Explorations

Dr. Rick Hess and Dr. Wilma Bailey will discuss capital punishment from biblical and theological viewpoints and present arguments for and against respectively. Following both presentations there will be a panel question and answer session with lunch provided by the Vernon Grounds Institute where attendees will have the opportunity to delve further into the subject of capital punishment from a biblical and ethical perspective. 


Monday, October 13, 2014
Denver Seminary Chapel
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Part I: Dr. Rick Hess presents an argument for Capital Punishment from a Biblical and Theological Perspective
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Brown Bag Lunch and Discussion with Dr. Rick Hess

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Denver Seminary Chapel
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Part II: Dr. Wilma Bailey presents an argument against Capital Punishment from a Biblical and Theological Perspective 
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Brown Bag Lunch and Discussion with Dr. Rick Hess and Dr. Wilma Bailey

About Dr. Wilma Bailey

Wilma Bailey was raised in New York City. She currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana where she is Professor Emerita of Hebrew and Aramaic Scripture at Christian Theological Seminary and the Minnnie Vautrin Chair of Christian Witness, Emerita. She has served on the faculty of CTS for fourteen years. Prior to that, for ten years, she was Professor of Hebrew Bible at Messiah College. Earlier yet, she taught urban ministry at Goshen College while working as Director of the James Lark Leadership Program. She has served on the Boards of Eastern Mennonite University, Mennonite Central Committee and the Mennonite Board of Education.

She has published numerous articles, Adult Sunday School quarterlies and most recently the book titled "You Shall Not Kill" or "You Shall Not Murder?" The Assault on a Biblical Text which was published by Liturgical Press. Her commentary on the biblical book of Lamentations will be published this fall.  Bailey has traveled broadly in eastern and western Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and North and South America.  Most of her work in publications and in the field has revolved around issues related to peace, justice, women's stories in the Bible and more recently, ecology.  She attends Shalom Mennonite Church in Indianapolis where she was recently elected Church Moderator.

About Dr. Rick Hess

Dr. Richard Hess, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, joined the faculty in 1997. He is the editor of the Denver Journal, Denver Seminary’s online theological review journal, and the Bulletin for Biblical Research. He is also the founder and editor of the Bulletin’s Supplement Series and is a member of a dozen scholarly societies. For his full bio, click here.

Archives of the Kent Mathews Endowed Lectureship series

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