King University’s Institute for Faith & Culture (IFC) welcomes author, theologian, and New York Times columnist Esau McCaulley, Ph.D., as the 2023-24 Frederick Buechner Lecturer.
McCaulley is an associate professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and the author of a number of books, including “Reading While Black: African-American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope.” The work has received critical acclaim for its insightful examination of scripture and in 2021 was recognized by Christianity Today as the Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year.
His most recent book, “How Far to the Promised Land: One Family’s Story of Hope and Survival in the American South,” is a rich examination of legacy, memory, race and culture, and has been hailed as instrumental in fostering conversations in the Christian community and beyond.
In addition to the New York Times, McCaulley’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, Washington Post, and Christianity Today.
On Monday, Nov. 6, at 9:15 a.m., he will present “Storytelling, Place, and the Christian Imagination” in King’s Memorial Chapel. That evening he will share “How Far to the Promised Land: Faith, Community, and the Black Memoir” at First Presbyterian Church at 701 Florida Avenue in Bristol, Tennessee. Thanks to the generosity of donors, both events are open to the public and free of charge.
“Dr. McCaulley has the amazing ability to talk about difficult subjects in a way that invites healing and fosters community,” said Martin Dotterweich, Ph.D., director of the IFC. “His deep appreciation for beauty and keen understanding of scripture help us to see familiar themes and passages anew, and to bear new appreciation for the historic role that hope plays in all our lives.”
McCaulley majored in history at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, earned his Master of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and pursued a Master of Sacred Theology at Nashotah House in Nashotah, Wisconsin. He completed his doctorate in New Testament studies at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, studying under the direction of N.T. Wright.
The annual Frederick Buechner Lecture at King honors Buechner’s unique and lasting reflections on the intersection of faith and culture in his novels, memoirs, sermons, and essays. Previous speakers include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson, poet and author Kathleen Norris, professor and author James K.A. Smith, and memoirist Kate Bowler, among others.