Decolonial theories and theologies researcher to give Augsburger Lecture Series

Nancy Elizabeth Bedford – author, professor, and global feminist and decolonial theories and theologies researcher – will visit Eastern Mennonite University March 29-30 as part of the annual Augsburger Lecture Series, in collaboration with Virginia Mennonite Conference and Park View Mennonite Church.

Bedford will give three different lectures at EMU, all in the seminary’s Martin Chapel. All will be livestreamed via the seminary’s Facebook Live page and recorded as well. Translation into Spanish will be available for the Tuesday evening lecture.

Her talks include:

  • Tuesday, March 29, 11 a.m.: “Why Does Theology Matter? Malleability”
  • Tuesday, March 29, 7 p.m.: “What’s the Matter with Theology? Materiality”
  • Wednesday, March 30, 10:10 a.m.: “How Might Theology Become Materialized? Mission”

“We are so very excited to welcome Dr. Bedford to our campus and for her to hopefully agitate our thinking in the way we view and understand mission,” said Professor Andrew Suderman, program director of Bible, religion and theology and co-chair of the Augsburger committee. “Dr. Bedford’s work in decoloniality and deconstructing whiteness will undoubtedly help us in our journey of being a community that better lives into the diversity and beauty of God’s good creation.”

Bedford lives in Evanston, Illinois, where she has been Georgia Harkness Professor of Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary since 2003. From 1995-2002, she taught theology at Instituto Universitario ISEDET and Seminario Internacional Teológico Bautista, both in Buenos Aires. Nancy Elizabeth Bedford was born in Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. 

Her latest book is Who Was Jesus and What Does It Mean to Follow Him? (Herald Press, 2021). Bedford has written or edited ten books and written over 90 book chapters and journal articles, which have appeared in five languages. 

Bedford is a member of Reba Place Church (Mennonite) in Evanston, where she is on the preaching team and the racial justice group. She is married to Daniel Stutz, with whom she has three adult daughters, Valeria, Sofía and Carolina.

The Augsburger Lecture series was founded in 1984 by Myron S. and Esther Augsburger to address “topics in the area of Christian evangelism and mission for the stimulation and development of a vision for evangelism and missions for the EMU community.”

Previous Augsburger lecturers include: 

  • 2019: Rev. Dr. Elaine Heath, author, educator, United Methodist Church elder and co-founder of the Neighborhood Seminary. Heath’s presentation was titled “Is There Good News for a World in Trauma?” Article podcast
  • 2018: N.T. Wright, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. Wright presented on “Promised Glory: Thinking Straight about God and the World.” Article podcast
  • 2017: James Krabill ‘71, senior mission advocate with Mennonite Mission Network, who convened a panel with Leonard Dow ’87 and Esther Augsburger ’72, all alumni who have served in Christian evangelism and missions. Article podcast
  • 2016: The Reverend Canon Dr. Scot McKnight, New Testament scholar, theologian, historian, and author. Article podcast
  • 2015: Nelson Okanya MDiv ’03, president of Eastern Mennonite Missions, who spoke on the changes in global missions over the last half-century. Article podcast