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20th Bonhoeffer Lectures in Public Ethics

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McCormick Theological Seminary

5460 South University Avenue

Chicago, IL 60615

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20th Bonhoeffer Lectures in Public Ethics: Advocacy and Resistance in a Divided Time

About this Event

May 31-June 1, 2019

You are invited to the 20th Bonhoeffer Lectures in Public Ethics, featuring keynote speakers the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber and Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. Drawing on their extensive experience building movements for social change, these speakers will address the pressing issues of our diverse communities, calling us to the work of advocacy and resistance.

In order to address these concerns locally, this conference uniquely places Chicago organizations working for justice alongside leading scholars making constructive use of the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Scholars will give presentations that introduce Bonhoeffer as a resource for thinking in new ways about a select number of issues, including racism, mass incarceration, gender justice and environmental justice. Representatives from local organizations will then lead workshops, providing training in practices relevant to the issues and opportunities for engagement in their on-going work.

This conference aims to serve laypersons, religious leaders, students and scholars from diverse faith communities in and beyond the Chicagoland area. The Conference is free for students of any level. General Admission ticket scholarships are available. For more information on scholarships please contact Matthew Jones at m.jones.18@abdn.ac.uk.

Plenary Speakers Include:

J. Kameron Carter, Lisa Dahill, Michael DeJonge, Thomas Fabisiak, Jennifer McBride, Jeffrey Pugh, Stephen Ray, Di Rayson, Reggie Williams and special guest Father Michael Pfleger.

With workshops by:

Faith in Place

Institute for Nonviolence Chicago

Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois

Live Oak Chicago

*Paper and workshop titles to be posted in March, with abstracts distributed at the conference.

Friday May 31, 5:30-9:30pm

5:30-6:00 Registration

6:00-6:10 Welcome and Introduction

6:10-6:45 Opening Bonhoeffer Lecture – Dr. Reggie Williams

6:40-6:45 Introduction of Keynote Speakers

6:45-7:25 Keynote Lecture – Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

7:25-8:30 Keynote Lecture – Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

8:30-9:30 Cocktail Reception

Saturday June 1, 8:00-6:00pm.

8:00-8:30 Registration

8:30-10:15 Plenary Session I: Whiteness, Racial Justice, and Mass Incarceration

8:30-8:35 Speaker Introduction

8:35-9:10 Paper 1 – Dr. Stephen Ray

9:10-9:45 Bonhoeffer’s Critique of Morality: A Theological Resource for Dismantling Mass Incarceration - Dr. Jennifer McBride and Dr. Thomas Fabisiak

9:45-10:20 Bonhoeffer in Charlottesville – Dr. Jeff Pugh

10:20-10:30 Coffee Break

10:30-12:00 Workshops

Workshop Option 1: Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois

Workshop Option 2: Institute for Nonviolence Chicago

12:00-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30-4:30 Plenary Session II: Gender, Trauma, and the Environment

1:30-1:35 Speaker Introduction

1:35-2:05 Reading from the Underside: Bonhoeffer, Social Location, and Embodiment – Dr. Lisa Dahill

2:05-2:35 Bonhoeffer's Theology in a Warming World: Lessons for the Anthropocene – Dr. Di Rayson

2:35-2:45 Response/Dialogue

2:45-3:00 Coffee Break

3:00-4:30 Workshops

Workshop Option 1: Live Oak Chicago

Workshop Option 2: Faith and Place Chicago

4:30-4:45 Coffee Break

4:45-6:30 Plenary Session III: Bonhoeffer, The Post-Racial, and the Western World

4:45-4:50 Speaker Introduction

4:50-5:25 Closing Bonhoeffer Lecture – Dr. J. Kameron Carter

5:25-5:50 Response to Carter – Dr. Michael DeJonge

5:50-6:00 Dialogue between Carter and DeJonge

6:00-6:05 Speaker Introduction

6:05-6:30 Closing Challenge – Father Michael Pfleger

Lodging Options

Mention the “Bonhoeffer Conference” room block in order to get these discounted rates. Book by April 30, 2019 to reserve your room. If you are unable to find a room at these locations, please contact Courtney Jacobson (cjacobson@mccormick.edu) for further options.

La Quinta Inn & Suites: http://www.laquintachicagolakeshore.com/ ($189/night)

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) Housing: $53/night please email Patti DeBias at pdebias@lstc.edu

Catholic Theological Union (CTU) Housing: https://ctu.edu/conference-center/guest-housing/ ($75/night)

Hyatt Place: https://chicagosouthuniversity.place.hyatt.com ($269/night)

AirBNB: Hyde Park frequently has options available through AirBNB. If you have an account, be sure to check this option!

Transportation Options

Public Transit

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is one of the best public transportation systems in the country. You can reach McCormick Theological Seminary from Midway airport via the #55 bus east and from O’Hare airport via the Blue Line into the Loop, the Red Line toward 95th, and then the #55 bus east.

The CTA’s payment system, called Ventra, allows you to buy a Ventra payment card with a pre-loaded amount of money or a pass (weekend or one-week) that gives you unlimited rides. For more information on payment, maps, and schedules, please see the CTA website. Google maps is also an excellent resource for finding transit schedules and the best routes.


McCormick Theological Seminary lies in between the I-90 expressway and Lake Shore Drive/Hwy 41, easily accessible to both via 55th Street. The seminary has an underground parking garage that will be open for free for conference attendees 5pm-9:30pm Friday, May 31 and 8am-6pm Saturday, June 1. There is also ample free street parking in the neighborhood on weekends (just watch out for No Parking signs!).


Taxis are easily accessible at either airport, and Chicago has several rideshare options, such as Uber and Lyft.


The Hyde Park neighborhood is located on Chicago’s South Side. Midway International Airport is the closest airport to the seminary, but both Midway and O’Hare are accessible via public transportation.

For more information please visit our website at: https://www.thebonhoeffercenter.org

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McCormick Theological Seminary

5460 South University Avenue

Chicago, IL 60615

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