The Capps Lecture in Christian Theology is an annual series that brings eminent Christian thinkers to the heart of the university with public lectures that explore the relationship between faith and responsibility. 

Our 2018 Capps Lecturer WAS Jonathan Merritt 



Do you struggle to talk about faith? Find that old sacred works like “sin,” “gospel” and “grace” fail to connect in today’s changing culture? The 2018 Capps Lecture begins here, with these questions.

Jonathan Merritt is an award-winning writer on religion, culture, and politics. He currently serves as a contributing writer for The Atlantic,  contributing editor for The Week, and senior columnist for Religion News Service. Jonathan has published more than 3000 articles in respected outlets such as USA TodayBuzzfeedThe Daily BeastThe Washington Post and Christianity Today. As a respected voice, he regularly contributes commentary to television, print, and radio news outlets and has been interviewed by ABC World News, NPR, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, Fox News, CBS’ “60 Minutes” and The New York Times.



"Christianity is Madness: Kierkegaard and the Academy" with Dr. Stanley Hauerwas

Watch the video here!


Professor Hauerwas has sought to recover the significance of the virtues for understanding the nature of the Christian life. This search has led him to emphasize the importance of the church, as well as narrative for understanding Christian existence. His work cuts across disciplinary lines as he is in conversation with systematic theology, philosophical theology and ethics, political theory, as well as the philosophy of social science and medical ethics. He was named "America’s Best Theologian" by Time magazine in 2001. Dr. Hauerwas, who holds a joint appointment in Duke Law School, delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectureship at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland in 2001.

His book, A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic, was selected as one of the 100 most important books on religion of the 20th century. Dr. Hauerwas recently authored The Work of Theology(Eerdmans, 2015), Hannah’s Child: A Theological Memoir, 2nd Ed. (Eerdmans, 2012)and War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity ( Baker Academic Press, 2011).

The 2016 Capps Lecture

Dr. John M. Perkins. "Has the dream become a nightmare?  Prospects for reconciliation in the wake of the new racism."  Watch the video here

Photos by Laura Merricks.

The 2015 Capps lecture

“Two themes that haunt me: Suffering and Grace” with Philip Yancey



“Leaving Church?  Generation Next and the Future of Faith”
with Diana Butler Bass

Watch the video of Dr. Bass’s Capps Lecture

Listen to the afternoon workshop with Dr. Bass here


Lauren Winner, Duke University – “Writing About God”
View Lecture

The 2011 Capps Lecture

Emmanuel Katongole , Duke University – “Daring to Invent the Future of Africa: On Modernity, Politics and the Madness of Christian Faith”
Listen to Lecture

The 2009 Capps Lecture

Albert J. Raboteau, Princeton University – “Holy Ordinary: Locating the Sacred in Literature and Life”
Listen to the Lecture
Listen to the Q&A
Listen to the seminar on Thomas Merton & Martin Luther King, Jr.

The 2008 Capps Lecture

Dr. Donald Shriver, Jr., Union Theological Seminary, New York – “Honest Patriots: Loving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds”
Read the Lecture

The 2007 Capps Lecture

Professor John de Gruchy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa – “Christian Identity amidst Global Contradictions” and “Christian Humanism against Fundamentalism & Secularism”
Listen to this Lecture

The 2005 Capps Lecture

Jürgen Moltmann, University of Tübingen, Germany – “In God We Trust, In God Us Trusts”
Read the Lecture

The 2003 Capps Lecture

Wolfgang Huber, Heidelberg University and Bishop of Berlin-Brandenburg (Evangelical Church of Germany) – “Truth, Guilt and Reconciliation: Christian Faith in a Violent World” and “Do We Need A New Morality? Christian Faith and Bioethics”
For a printed copy of both lectures, contact us.

The 2001 Capps Lecture

Miroslav Volf, Yale University – “Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Justice”