Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins Luke Timothy Johnson, Candler’s 2021-2022 Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture, will present his second of two public lectures on the theme “Imitation of Christ: Disparate Visions of Discipleship” on Wednesday, November 10. The in-person event will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Room 252 of Candler’s Rita Anne Rollins Building. Registration is required. The lecture will also be livestreamed on Candler's Facebook page and posted later to Candler’s Vimeo site.

Register here.

"Imitation of Christ: Is a Unified Vision of Christian Discipleship Possible?"
Building on the narrative related in the first lecture, this presentation engages in a critical analysis of each vision of discipleship, interrogating its premises, its grounding in Scripture, its theological coherence, and its limitations, before posing the question whether Christians within either understanding of discipleship can find it possible to transcend their antagonist postures and through dialogue discover the riches each offers to the other.

Johnson served on the Candler faculty from 1992 to 2016 as the school’s Robert W. Woodruff Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank a professor at Emory University can hold. An influential scholar, a prolific author, and an award-winning teacher, his research concerns the literary, moral, and religious dimensions of the New Testament, including the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of early Christianity, Luke-Acts, the Pastoral Letters, and the Letter of James.

The lectures are made possible by the McDonald Agape Foundation.

About the McDonald Chair

The Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture is supported by gifts from the McDonald Agape Foundation, founded by Alonzo L. McDonald, a longtime trustee of Emory University. The McDonald Agape Foundation “supports lectures and other public presentations that deal creatively and imaginatively with the person and teachings of Jesus as they shape and form culture.” 

Recipients are given a distinguished visiting professorship, in which they speak and teach in the focused area of Jesus’s effect on culture and conversely, culture’s shaping of the figure of Jesus.

Past McDonald chair lecturers include Judge John T. Noonan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; composer Alice Parker; art historian Herbert Kessler; historian and documentary filmmaker Randall Balmer; author James Carroll; Episcopal priest and bestselling author Barbara Brown Taylor; Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Garry Wills; Jesuit priest and film professor Lloyd Baugh; and theological scholars David H. Kelsey, David F. Ford, Walter Earl Fluker, Roberto S. Goizueta, and M. Shawn Copeland, among others. View a full list of past chairs.