There was a time when people didn’t watch Paris Hilton religiously. There was a time when religion was followed religiously. University Chaplain Frederick Streets, in a new book titled “Preaching in the New Millenium, Celebrating the Tercentennial of Yale University,” documents the rich religious history at Yale, from its pious roots through today.
The book is a collection of sermons distinguished preachers gave while visiting Yale during its tercentennial celebration in 2001. Contributors include William Sloane Coffin, Yale University chaplain during the Vietnam War known for his anti-war activism, and Gardner C. Taylor who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Bill Clinton LAW ’73. The book is slated to be released by the Yale University Press on March 16.
Richard Lischer of Duke Divinity School said the book appropriately reflected the state of religion at Yale.
“This sparkling collection of sermons reminds us that God is not yet dead at Yale,” Lischer said. “They pose just the challenge that every thinking, believing person needs to hear.”
Streets, who edited the book and wrote the introduction, said the sermons address a number of issues the Christian community at Yale is especially struggling with today. The preachers discuss topics such as racism, homophobia, nationalism and Christian discipleship. Some of the sermons addressed the importance of religion in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“It’s not only a snapshot of religious life, but how the preachers addressed 9/11 as it related to the role of the University,” Streets said.
Yale Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge said the visiting preachers rose to the challenge of offering solace to the Yale community after the attacks.
“These well crafted pieces effectively offer hope in times of despair, joy in times of sadness, a prophetic call to justice, and an inspiring reminder of God’s unbounded love,” Attridge said in a press release.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said in a press release that Streets’ book is important for recording the historically resonant words of these distinguished figures in the religious community.
“This collection of thoughts and reflections is a valuable repository of teaching to inspire and encourage — to make it happen, to initiate, to strive, and to believe that with God all things are possible,” Tutu said.
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