Edward L. Mark Lecture

This endowed annual lecture was established to honor the Reverend Edward L. Mark’s preaching ministry at Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church from 1964 to 1996.

Reverend Mark’s legacy is one of thoughtful, intellectually rigorous, Bible-centered sermons. In both his sermons and his life he has been animated by prophetic concern for the poor and oppressed.

In keeping with Reverend Mark’s spirit, each lecture features a highly regarded theologian or biblical scholar, whose scholarship is not simply an arid academic exercise, but rather something that can have meaning for active church members and others for whom religious faith is a vital part of their lives.

Recent Lecture

Cornel Willam Brooks is Hauser Professor of the Practice of Nonprofit Organizations and Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School. He will deliver the 2023 Edward L. Mark Lecture on Sunday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. The lecture is titled “Exonerating History: Mrs. Callie G House and the Biblical Empirical Case for Reparations”

Click here to watch on YouTube

Past Lectures


“A Darkly Radiant Vision: The Black Social Gospel in the Shadow of MLK,”
Rev. Dr. Gary Dorrien
Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University


“This Work Cannot Be Done by Proxy”: Frances Willard and the Conservative Radicalism of a 19th- Century Methodist Woman.”
Dr.  Christopher H. Evans
Professor of History of Christianity and Methodist Studies at the Boston University School of Theology


“New England Methodism and the Founding of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society:  Higher Education, Women’s Empowerment”
Professor Dana Robert
Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission at Boston University


“New England Methodism and the Founding of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society:  Higher Education, Women’s Empowerment”
Professor Dana Robert
Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission at Boston University


“Resurrection Sciences: How Jesus’ disciples believed God raised him from the Dead”
Dr. Bruce Chilton
Dr. Chilton is a scholar of early Christianity and Judaism. He has taught at Yale University, Bard College, as well as universities in Europe.


“Christianity and Human Flourishing: A Methodist Story”
Dean David Hempton
Harvard Divinity School


“That We May Be for the World the Body of Christ: The Form and Life of Discipleship”
Rev. Kevin LaGree
Former Dean of Candler School of Theology, Emory University


“Precarious Texts: Sex, Gender, and an Accidental Biblical Canon”
Professor Jennifer Knust
Professor of Religion at Boston University


“Radical Love: Queer Theology for Reconciling Churches.”
Rev. Dr. Patrick S. Cheng
Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School


“Praying the Song: Recovering the Song of Songs as a Text of Devotion for Christian Practice”
Professor Stephanie Paulsell
Professor of the Practice of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School


“What Explains the Christiah Virtue of Charity Toward the Poor?”
Professor Gary A. Anderson
Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology at the University of Notre Dame


“The American Jesus-and the Galilean Jesus”
Professor Richard A. Horsley
Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion, Emeritus University of Massachusetts Boston


“Parable and Parabler, Habitat and Humanity: Telling Gospel Stories Anew in the Face of the Ecological Imperative”
Professor Elaine Wainwright
Richard Maclaurin Goodfellow Professor in Theology and Head of the School of Theology, University of Auckland, New Zealand


“The Misunderstood Jew: How the Church Gets Both Jesus and Judaism Wrong”
Professor Amy-Jill Levine
E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, Vanderbilt University Divinity School,


“Reading and Responsibility Toward the Other: The Bible and Religious Difference” Professor Ellen Davis
Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School


“The Prophetic Church and Human Liberation”
Professor Luke Timothy Johnson
Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University


Professor Paula Fredriksen
William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of Scripture at Boston University


“Jesus, Jefferson and Humanism”
Professor E. P. Sanders
Arts and Sciences Professor in the Department of Religion at Duke University


“Biblical Images for Christian Life: Born Again and Kingdom of God”
Professor Marcus J. Borg
Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University


“Why I Love the Bible” Bishop Krister Stendahl
Former Dean of Harvard Divinity School