Public Lectures and Events

These events are free and open to the public.

The Dawe Lecture – Monday, March 25, 2019 – 7:30 – 9:00 p.m., in Watts Chapel, Union Presbyterian Seminary, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA.

“Spirit at the Edges: Sanskritization of the Telugu Pentecostals” – led by Dr. James Taneti, Director of the Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education and Assistant Professor of World Christianity at Union Presbyterian Seminary, in Richmond, Virginia.

About the Lecture:

Dr. Taneti will provide an in-depth look into how and why the socially marginalized groups bring together disparate faith traditions to evolve new spiritualities. He will do so by narrating the tale of the Telugu Pentecostals in India with special focus on how these dissident Dalit Christians, at the edges of the Protestant Christianity, drew theological resources from the western Holiness tradition and their own folk worldviews to evolve their own form of Pentecostalism. At the same time, Dr. Taneti will analyze the impact of social aspirations and dominant cultures in the flourishing and warping of these eclectic traditions.

About the Speaker:

An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, Dr. James Taneti has ministered in various settings, such as church, classroom, clinical, and correctional facilities. After completing his theological education at the United Theological College, in India, Dr. Taneti pursued and received a master’s degree at Princeton Theological Seminary and a doctoral degree in Church History from Union Presbyterian Seminary. He has also received graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and Western Theological Seminary. His area of expertise is on Christianity outside the western hemisphere. He joined the faculty of Union Presbyterian Seminary in 2018 and serves as the Director of the Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education and Assistant Professor of World Christianity. In addition to numerous essays and book reviews, he has authored two books about Christianity in South Asia. James and his wife have two high school-aged children.

The Dawe Lecture series is funded through The Donald and Nancy Dawe Fund for Emotional and Ethical Growth. The Fund was established thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Coleman Longan honoring Donald and Nancy Dawe. Dr. Dawe was professor emeritus of Union Presbyterian Seminary until his death in 2012.

The lecture series, which is held annually at Union Presbyterian Seminary, pays tribute to Dr. and Mrs. Dawe and promotes ethical and religious understanding. Because of Professor Dawe’s long-standing interest and commitments in the area of multi-religious and multi-cultural understanding and interfaith dialogue, this lecture series seeks to contribute to deepened awareness and insight in these areas of intellectual and especially practical religious concern.


The Carl Howie Center Event – Coming October 2019 – stay tuned!

To listen to a podcast interview with our 2018 Howie Event Speaker, Burns Stanfield, during his visit to Union’s Richmond campus, click here. Rev.Stanfield is a great storyteller. Take a listen. Here are the details surrounding our 2018 Howie Center Event:

Fall 2018: “It’s Showtime! Art, Organizing, and Building Community One Musical at a Time: The Revitalization of Fourth Presbyterian Church, South Boston” – was led by  Burns Stanfield, Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian, South Boston, VA

The 2018 Howie Center Event was led by Burns Stanfield, who has pastored Fourth Presbyterian Church, South Boston, for the last 27 years, and leads their after-school offerings in music, art and children’s theater.  He is also a musician and an instructor at Harvard Divinity School and Andover Newton Seminary.  Burns is the current president of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, an IAF-affiliated organization working on health care, affordable housing, and criminal justice reform.

The Howie Center Events are open to one and all and are designed to bring community members together through the intersection of science, art, and theology.

The Carl Howie Center for Science, Art, and Theology sponsors presentations through which church leaders (including seminarians) recognize and engage the insights and implications of the interplay of science, art, and theology for theological expression and the practice of ministry.  The Center generously provides funding for lectures, seminars, and displays at Union Presbyterian Seminary once or twice a year, featuring artists, scientists, and/or theologians in conversation about a particular topic.