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20th Bonhoeffer Lectures in Public Ethics

Advocacy and Resistance in a Divided Time

May 31-June 1, 2019

McCormick Theological Seminary

5460 S. University Ave. Chicago, IL 60615

You are invited to the 20th Bonhoeffer Lectures in Public Ethics, featuring keynote speakers the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber and Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. Drawing on their extensive experience building movements for social change, these speakers will address the pressing issues of our diverse communities, calling us to the work of advocacy and resistance.

In order to address these concerns locally, this conference uniquely places Chicago organizations working for justice alongside leading scholars making constructive use of the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Scholars will give presentations that introduce Bonhoeffer as a resource for thinking in new ways about a select number of issues, including racism, mass incarceration, gender justice and environmental justice. Representatives from local organizations will then lead workshops, providing training in practices relevant to the issues and opportunities for engagement in their on-going work.

This conference aims to serve laypersons, religious leaders, students and scholars from diverse faith communities in and beyond the Chicagoland area.

Plenary speakers include: J Kameron Carter, Lisa Dahill, Michael DeJonge, Thomas Fabisiak, Jennifer McBride, Jeffrey Pugh, Stephen Ray, Di Rayson, Reggie Williams, and special guest Father Michael Pfleger.

With workshops by: Faith in Place, Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois, Live Oak Chicago.

You can register for the conference at this link:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/20th-bonhoeffer-lectures-in-public-ethics-tickets-61692276259

Your registration includes Friday evening keynote address, Saturday plenary presentations and workshops, and food including Friday cocktail reception and coffee and snacks on Saturday. This event is free for students but they must register online. General Admission ticket scholarships are available. For more information on scholarships please contact Matthew Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*Paper and workshop titles to be posted in March, with abstracts distributed at the conference.



Friday May 31, 5:30-9:30pm 

5:30-6:00 Registration

6:00-6:10 Welcome and Introduction 

6:10-6:45 Opening Bonhoeffer Lecture – Dr. Reggie Williams 

6:40-6:45 Introduction of Keynote Speakers 

6:45-7:25 Keynote Lecture – Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 

7:25-8:30 Keynote Lecture – Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

8:30-9:30 Cocktail Reception


Saturday June 1, 8:00-6:00pm. 

8:00-8:30 Registration

8:30-10:15 PlenarySession I: Whiteness, Racial Justice, and Mass Incarceration 

8:30-8:35 Speaker Introduction

8:35-9:10 Paper 1 – Dr. Stephen Ray 

9:10-9:45 Bonhoeffer’s Critique of Morality: A Theological Resource for Dismantling Mass Incarceration Dr. Jennifer McBride and Dr. Thomas Fabisiak

9:45-10:20 Bonhoeffer in Charlottesville Dr. Jeff Pugh

10:20-10:30 Coffee Break

10:30-12:00 Workshops

Workshop Option 1: Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois

Workshop Option 2: Institute for NonviolenceChicago


12:00-1:30 Lunch Break


1:30-4:30 Plenary Session II: Gender, Trauma, and the Environment 

1:30-1:35 Speaker Introduction

1:35-2:05 Reading from the Underside: Bonhoeffer, Social Location, and Embodiment – Dr. Lisa Dahill 

2:05-2:35 Bonhoeffer's Theology in a Warming World: Lessons for the Anthropocene – Dr. Di Rayson

2:35-2:45 Response/Dialogue

2:45-3:00 Coffee Break

3:00-4:30 Workshops

Workshop Option 1: Live Oak Chicago

Workshop Option 2: Faith and Place Chicago

4:30-4:45 Coffee Break


4:45-6:30 Plenary Session III: Bonhoeffer, The Post-Racial, and the Western World

4:45-4:50 Speaker Introduction

4:50-5:25 Closing Bonhoeffer Lecture – Dr. J. Kameron Carter 

5:25-5:50 Response to Carter – Dr. Michael DeJonge

5:50-6:00 Dialogue between Carter and DeJonge

6:00-6:05 Speaker Introduction

6:05-6:30 Closing Challenge – Father Michael Pfleger


Lodging Options


Mention the “Bonhoeffer Conference” room block in order to get these discounted rates. Book by April 30, 2019 to reserve your room. If you are unable to find a room at these locations, please contact Courtney Jacobson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further options.


La Quinta Inn & Suites

4900A S. Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60615

Phone: +1 (773) 324 3000



Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) Housing

5434-5438 S. University Ave.

Chicago, IL 60615

Please contact Patti DeBias at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book rooms at LSTC