Pulpit+ Exchange Presents: Dr. Antony Alumkal

Actions Panel

Pulpit+ Exchange Presents: Dr. Antony Alumkal

Come focus on justice work with nourishing food, an insightful lecture, and inspiring conversations.

By Iliff School of Theology

When and where

Date and time

Monday, May 1 · 5 - 7pm MDT


Iliff School of Theology 2323 East Iliff Avenue Denver, CO 80210

About this event

  • 2 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

The Evening's Lecture

"Why Progressive Christianity Isn’t Progressive Enough (And What It Would Take To Fix It)" with Dr. Antony Alumkal, Associate Professor of Sociology of Religion at the Iliff School of Theology

The movement known as Progressive Christianity presents itself as advancing the Christian tradition by integrating cutting-edge knowledge and abandoning the oppressive tendencies of conservative forms of Christianity. But a critical look at the movement reveals that it is rife with white, male, and middle-class privilege. Additionally, movement leaders have often relied on outdated scholarship and mirrored the thinking of the Christian Right.

We will discuss three of Progressive Christianity’s formative figures—Jesus Seminar founder Robert Funk, biblical scholar Marcus Borg, and Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong—and how their ideas failed to live up to the “progressive” label. We will then consider what a new Progressive Christianity 2.0 movement would need to do to avoid the shortcomings of its predecessor.

Pulpit+ Exchange

Iliff’s Pulpit+ Exchange Series (supported by the Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative from Lilly Endowment Inc.) provides space for a diverse array of ordained clergy and lay leaders to gather for a meal and grapple with challenging issues. One of the main goals of the Pulpit+ Exchange is to build congregations who will authentically study, worship, walk, and act together across difference to create a just and equitable world.

About the Evening's Agenda

Join other clergy and lay leaders for a light meal from 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm (MST). The lecture will begin at 5:30 pm. An opportunity to ask Dr. Alumkal questions and engage in discussions with colleagues will follow.

About the Lecturer

Antony Alumkal’s research interests include the influence of race on religion in the United States, the pseudoscientific and conspiratorial thinking of the American Christian Right, and how the “Progressive Christianity” movement mirrors the fundamentalism that it criticizes. His book Paranoid Science: The Christian Right’s War on Reality has been praised by sociologists and science educators while condemned by the Christian Right leaders whose lies he exposed.




His courses explore religion as a social phenomenon in the contemporary world. Recent courses taught include:

  • Congregations
  • Liberal and Evangelical Protestantism in the United States
  • Atheists, Secularists, and Nones
  • SJE Seminar: Christian Bioethics Debates

“Following Iliff’s Purpose and Vision Statement for me means insisting on the truth in an increasingly post-truth world.”

Frequently asked questions

Directions and Parking?

About the organizer