Dear Friends,

Our commemoration of Candler’s centennial has come to an end, leaving our community with a multitude of memories to savor, a wealth of new knowledge to spur further learning, and a renewed sense of call as we enter our second century.

Where the first half of the centennial focused on our history, this spring we turned our minds toward prophecy—“discerning in the complex circumstances of everyday life a Word from God, and speaking that Word to a world that most desperately needs to hear it,” as Luke Timothy Johnson so eloquently puts it. In popular parlance, another way to put it is to “speak truth to power.” Though some consider the phrase overplayed today, when Quakers first introduced it to the wider public in 1955 via a brochure of the same name, it sparked fresh and provocative conversations rooted in God’s truth.

Yet as popular as the title phrase is, the opening of Speak Truth to Power features another axiom that befits Candler’s observance of our centennial even more: “new conditions demand new responses.” Conditions are certainly different now than they were 100 years ago when Candler was founded; thus, during the second half of our centennial, we challenged ourselves to seek new responses to these new conditions. The centerpiece of this spring’s activities was a major academic conference that brought together a dozen scholars, thought leaders, and practitioners to examine issues confronting theology and the church today, and to explore faithful responses to those issues. In true prophetic fashion, the conference started new conversations rooted in God’s truth. As you’ll read in Luke Timothy Johnson’s keynote address and in the article summarizing the conference, the challenges are great, and engaging them will demand great thought, great action, and even greater prophetic boldness.

As we close this centennial year, let us consider the closing of Speak Truth to Power

…the world is not saved by discoveries or inventions, by the trample of iron hoofs nor the thunder of bombing planes, but by the quiet pervasive influence of the small company of people who in all lands and in all times, in spite of all that has happened or may come to pass, steadfastly continue to say, ‘Nevertheless…I believe.’ Faith is relevant, and in an Age of Anxiety, we affirm ours.

Indeed, in our first one hundred years, and now at the dawn of our second century, we, the people of Candler School of Theology, continue to proclaim our faith amid this ongoing “Age of Anxiety.” This year, our attention to story and prophecy has enlivened and energized us to move forward with confidence in the God who calls us for the transformation of the world.

Grace and Peace,

Jan Love
Dean and Professor of Christianity and World Politics 

CREDITS: Kay Hinton/EPV, Emory Photo/Video.