USF HOSTS 2014 PAUL WATTSON LECTURE FEATURING PROFESSOR WILLIAM BURROWS
34th annual Paul Wattson Christian Unity Lecture will be held at the
University of San Francisco on Monday, February 24, 2014. William R.
Burrows, research professor of Missiology in the World Christianity
Program at the New York Theological Seminary and Managing Editor
Emeritus, Orbis Books, will deliver a public lecture, “Rethinking the Ecumenical and Interfaith Path: Should We Accentuate What Unites or What Distinguishes?,” at 7:30pm in USF's McLaren Conference Center, Room 252.
Dr. Burrows's lecture will explore the question, “Can we better
understand what is really important to the other by learning the ways we
differ?” This is what both David Tracy, the Catholic theologian, and
Mathias Zahniser, the lifelong student of Islam, consider in search for
deeper and more honest interfaith and ecumenical relations.
The editor of Jacques Dupuis Faces the Inquisition (2012) and
Redemption and Dialogue: Reading Redemptoris Missio and Dialogue and
Proclamation (1993), Dr. Burrows is the author of New Ministries: the
Global Context (1980). He has written numerous articles and lectured on
questions of Christian mission and interreligious dialogue. He is a past
member of the executive committee of the International Association for
Mission Studies and past president of the American Society of
Missiology. His lifelong scholarly interest has centered on the
adaptation of Christianity in non-Western environments and on Christian
relations with persons of other faith traditions, particularly on how
the Christian mission should be understood and carried out in an
ecumenical age. His “Faith Meets Faith” book series he began with Dr.
Paul Knitter and edited at Orbis has been internationally acclaimed as
one of the most important on this topic.
Dr. Burrows said he chose this lecture topic to create a dialogue
open to mutual love and a union of the heart. “The reason Christians,
Jews, and Muslims talk past each other is because dialoguers and
scholars tend to try to accentuate what each holds in common, rather
than the particular things that make them what they are,” said Burrows.
“In this lecture, I will use insights about ecumenical and interfaith
conversations that allow each party to cherish and affirm their
particular practice, instead of using a traditional ‘find the lowest
common denominator’ approach.”
The Paul Wattson Christian Unity Lectures honor the memory of the
Reverend Paul James Francis Wattson, S.A. (1863-1940), founder of the
Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and pioneer for the cause of
Christian Unity. These annual lectures feature national and
international leaders in the fields of ecumenism and interreligious
dialogue who speak on current topics of interest. Initiated in 1974 at
the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, the series was
expanded in 1980 to the University of San Francisco; then, in 1995 to
the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax; and in 1996 to the Toronto
School of Theology in Toronto. In 1998, it was added to the ministry of
the Friars at their Centro Pro Unione in Rome honoring not only Father
Paul, but also Mother Lurana White, S.A., founder of the Franciscan
Sisters of the Atonement.
The University of San Francisco is a Catholic institute of higher
education founded by the Jesuits in 1855. The Friars have chosen to
share sponsorship of this prestigious annual lecture program with USF
because of their innovative and ecumenical reputation.
The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement are a Roman Catholic order of
brothers and priests founded in 1898 by Fr. Paul Wattson, SA at
Graymoor in Garrison. Since that time, the Friars have worked for
reconciliation and healing through “at-one-ment” — the unity of men and
women with God and with one another — so that the prayer of Jesus “that
they all may be one” might be fulfilled. Through their mission and
ministries they serve people of every race, religion, and walk of life.
Their social ministries help the poor, the needy, and the homeless;
people living with HIV; frail and elderly in hospitals and hospices;
those in prison; and people seeking recovery from alcoholism and
chemical addictions. Their ecumenical work makes them leaders of the
international movement to heal the divisions within Christianity and
among all faiths. Through their prayers and pastoral ministries, they
bring spiritual renewal, unity, harmony, and reconciliation throughout
the world and carry the Gospel message to three continents. For more
information about the Friars, visit atonementfriars.org.
For more information about the Paul Wattson Lecture at the University of San Francisco, contact Anne-Marie Devine (415) 422-2697 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.