Kathryn Tanner gives Gifford Lectures in Scotland

May 19, 2016

Kathryn Tanner, professor of systematic theology at Yale Divinity School, gave the prestigious Gifford Lectures May 2–12 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The six-part series, “Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism,” explored cultural forms of finance-dominated capitalism and suggested how Chris­tian beliefs and practices can counter these forms’ pervasive and often negative impact on hu­man lives and communities.

“Global capitalism can be changed and redirected by human decision,” she writes in her book Economy of Grace. “It is not the immovable object or implacable juggernaut that neoliberal economists would like us to think it is. The shape of capitalism has never been the pure product of economic forces but always the precipitate of additional social and political forces working together or against one another to push it this way or that.”

The Gifford Lectures—held at the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and St. Andrews—have been delivered annually since 1888 by international scholars. The lectures aim to “promote and diffuse the study of natural theology in the widest sense of the term—in other words, the knowledge of God.”