2017 October 1 – Ruby Sales


“Biblical and Theological Roots of Social Activism”


“Social Activism in the Twenty-first Century”


Ruby Sales is Public Theologian, Historian, Activist, Social Critic, Educator, and

Founder and Director of the Spirit House Project in Atlanta.



2017 March 12 – Amy-Jill Levine

Phil Silverstein Memorial Lectures  

Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi

Lecture One: How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently
Lecture Two: Hearing Jesus’ Parables: Of Pearls and Prodigals

Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Science. Her books include The Misunderstood Jew, The Meaning of the Bible (co-authored with Douglas Knight), and the thirteen-volume edited Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writing. Her most recent volume is Short Stories by Jesus



2016 October 16 – James Carroll

Reimagining Christ for the Modern World

Lecture One: Jesus after the Holocausts

Lecture Two: The Future of Jesus Christ


James Carroll is the author of eleven novels and eight works of non- fiction, including An American Requiem,  Constantine’s Sword, House of War, and Jerusalem. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at New York University. 

2016 March 4-5Bass_Diana_02

Diana Butler Bass

Finding God in the World
Session I: God in a Post-Religious Time 
Session II: The Rise of the Mystics
Session III: Religion in America
Session IV: The Democratization of Religion

Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of nine books, including Grounded: Finding God in the World, A Spiritual Revolution (2015)The Anderson School of Theology for Laypersons and Foothills Presbytery co-sponsored the event.


galileoJanuary 26, 2015 

Galileo: Italian Prophet of the Modern Era

ASTL sponsored a presentation in which actors gave readings from two plays: Galileo by Bertolt Brecht and Lamp at Midnight by Barrie Stavis. Following the readings, there was a discussion of the impact of Galileo on modern ways of thought and the interaction between science and religion.



2015 October 25

Harry T. Cook

Presentations : “Varying Portraits of Jesus” and “Regarding the Resurrection”

Harry T. Cook is a retired Episcopal priest and the author of eight books, the latest being What a Friend They Had in Jesus: The Theological Visions of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Hymn Writers. His weekly exegetical essays have a wide online audience. He is working on a book about Niebuhr’s years in Detroit. 



2015 February 22

Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor

Theme: Holy Envy: An Antidote to Fearing the Religious Stranger

Presentations:”Who Is My Neighbor?”
and “What Would Jesus Do?”

A Summary of the Lectures



2014 November 9

Dr. John Philip Newell

Theme: Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings
Presentations: “Reconnecting with the Earth” and “Reconnecting with Nonviolence”




2014 February 16

Dr. Walter Brueggemann

Presentations: “Voicing the Cry” and “Voicing the Impossible”




2013 October 13

Rev. Michael Dowd : “Ecology Is the New Theology: The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness”

2013 January 20

Dr. Luther Smith : “Howard Thurman & Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Love Ethic, Past and Present”

2012 September 29

James Carroll : “Beyond Nostalgia and Survival: Alternative Agenda for Institutional Religion”

2012 March 11

Lillian Daniel : “When ‘Spiritual but not Religious’ Is not Enough”

2012 January 24

Chocolat. In conjunction with the Anderson International Festival, ASTL sponsored the showing of the movie Chocolat and a discussion afterwards.

2011 October 16

Dr. Luther Smith : “The Life and Work of Dr. Howard Thurman”

2011 October 4

Discussion of Dr. Howard Thurman’s Search for Common Ground, led by Stuart Sprague

2011 September 20

Discussion of Dr. Howard Thurman’s  Jesus and the Disinherited, led by George West

2011 June 21

Discussion of Dr. Howard Thurman’s Luminous Darkness, led by Stuart Sprague

2011 May 10

Discussion of Dr. Howard Thurman’s Essential Writings (edited by Luther Smith), led by George West

2011 August 6

Bishop John Shelby Spong : “Christianity Before the Gospels Were Written” and “The Shadow of the Synagogue in New Testament Formation”

2011 Feb 18 and 19 (ASTL Anniversary)

Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan : “Parables by and about Jesus”


Dr. Jerry R. Wright : “Seeking a God Sufficient For The Soul’s Passion”

Dr. Stuart Sprague : “Experiencing Truth”

Dr. Bill Mallard : “Imagining Truth”

Rev Tom Richie : “Prophesying Truth”

Dr. Tommy Watson : “Singing Truth”

Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown : “Practicing Truth”


Dr. Amy-Jill Levine : “The Bible and Sex: David and Bathsheba” and “The Bible and Empire: Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas” and  “The Bible and Politics: Daniel and Revelation”

Dr. Tom Long : “A Raid On the Inarticulate: How The Bible Tells The Truth Poetically”


Dr. Laura Sugg : “God’s Encircling: the Rich Traditions of Celtic Christianity”

Dr. Marion “Marty” Swords : “Paul: the Man, the Message and the Mission”


Dr. Charles Kimball : “Islam, Christianity and the Clash of Civilizations: What In The World Is Going On” and “Sharing the Road to an Uncertain Future: Religion, Politics and Democracy in the 21st Century”


Dr. R. Jerry Wright : “Recovery of Soul” and “Living at the Edge of the Visible and Invisible World”

Levine, Dr. Amy-Jill : “Stories: How the Bible Both Unites and Divides”


Dr. Fred Craddock : “A Conversation Between The Text and The Listeners” and “More Than Anything Else In The World”

Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor : “Us and Them…Religious Strangers Post 9/11”


Dr. William Mallard : “The New Testament Revolution: The Virgin Birth and The Samaritan”

Dr. Brian K. Blount : “The Revelation of Culture” and “A Cultural-Political Reading of Revelation 1”


Dr. Bill Leonard : “The Church and The World: Ancient Mission—New Dilemmas”

Dr. Charles Kimball : “Sharing a Fragile Planet: Obstacles and Opportunities for the Children of Abraham”


Dr. Walter Bruggeman : “The Book of Psalms—The Church’s Rich Script of Truth and Hope”

Dr. John Cobb : “Keep Faith Dialogue Going In A New Kind of World”


Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor : “Living Faithfully in a Multi-Faith World”

Dr. Amy-Jill Levine : “The Next Stage of Jewish-Christian Relations”


Dr. Harold G. Koenig : “A History of Religion, Spirituality, Medicine and Science” (Co-sponsored by the Anderson County Medical Association)


Rev. Richard F. Elliott, Jr. : “Spirituality with Integrity”

Dr. Gregory Jones : “Forgiveness: Making Peace with the Past and Finding New Life in the Future”


Dr. William Mallard : “Doctrines Come to Life: The Trinity and The Spirit”

Dr. Vincenzo Di Nicola : “Small Answers: Lessons for the Left Hand”

The Rt. Rev. Bennett J. Sims : “Heresy Reconsidered” and “Servanthood and Sexuality”


Dr. Karl Plank : “Thomas Merton, A Film Biography” and “A Monk Contemplates Eichmann”


Claude Evans
John Patton
Lewis Hay
Theodore Weber
Joe Mathewes
Norman Perrin
Theodore Runyan
Z. Holler
Harvey Guthrie
Charles Kimball
R. Jerry Wright
Franklin Littel
Tom Long
Marion Swords
Laura Sugg


Carl Skrade

Victor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor

Norman Perrin : “Rediscovering the Teachings of Jesus”


Jack Boozer

*Paul Tillich

William Stringfellow

John Cooper : “Historical Understanding Christian Radical Thought” (several sessions)


Lewis Hay : “Studies in the Synoptic Gospels: Mark”

John Patton : “Theological and Psychological Concepts of Human Emotions” (eight-week course)

Claude Evans

Robert Briggs

George K. Schweitzer


Joe Matthews

Theodore Weber : Christian Ethics


Norman Perrin : “The Kingdom of God”

William Mallard : “The Nature and Significance of the Church”


Z. Holler : “The Parables”

Theodore Runyan : “Romans: Sourcebook of Our Faith”


Harvey Guthrie


Franklin Littell : “The German Phoenix”