Coakley to give Paddock lectures

Dr. Deirdre Good, professor of New Testament at The General Theological Seminary, says on her blog that the Paddock Lectures at GTS this year are to be given by The Rev. Dr. Sarah Coakley from Sepember 23 and 24th. The lectures are titled: Beyond “Sexuality”: A New Christian Theology of Desire.

The Rev. Dr. Sarah Coakley is a widely published systematic theologian. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Cambridge. She has taught at Lancaster University and the University of Oxford and, since 1993, at Harvard Divinity School. In 2006, she became Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. She has wide interdisciplinary interests, including feminist theory, and is presently at work on a four-volume systematic theology. In 2008 she received General Seminary’s honorary doctoral degree. The three lectures are as follows:

I. Lessons of the Sex Scandals: Why Desire Matters. Wed., Sept. 23, 3 pm.

Beyond the modern preoccupation with “straight” or “homosexual,” consider the more fundamental category, “desire.” Here are the resources for a new theology of desire free of false binaries.

II. The Eucharist, Desire and Gender: Why Women Priests Matter. Thu., Sept. 24, 10 am.

What does this new approach mean for a woman’s place at the altar: what sort of “eroticism” is involved in the priestly role itself, and how is “gender” to be understood theologically in the light of it? How does this approach answer the Roman Catholic objection to women priests?

III. Desire, Gender and Contemplation: Why Systematic Theology (Still) Matters. Thu., Sept. 24, 2 pm.

The indispensability of a properly “theological” view of gender and desire are urged as part of a new project in Anglican systematic theology where both play a crucial part. The ecumenical promise of this is underscored.

The Paddock Lectures were founded in 1880 by General Seminary benefactor George A. Jarvis and named in honor of the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Henry Paddock, Class of 1852. The lectureship has featured many of the world’s leading Anglican scholars. Join us for these insightful and dynamic lectures. Reservations are required. Please contact Bridget Hogan at

Read the rest here.

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