Department of Religion and Culture

Hammond Lectureship in Religious Ethics and Society

The Hammond Lectureship in Religious Ethics and Society was endowed by an anonymous donor in 1995 to honor Guy B. Hammond, who retired in that year, after 38 years of service at Virginia Tech, having served as head of two academic units in the College of Arts and Sciences (the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the Department of Religion) and transition leader of a third (the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies). Dr. Hammond's scholarly interests and accomplishments are represented in his three books: two on the Protestant theologian Paul Tillich (Man in Estrangement and The Power of Self-Transcendence: An Introduction to the Systematic Theology of Paul Tillich) and a third more broadly in the field of religious ethics and society (Conscience and its Recovery: From The Frankfurt School to Feminism). The Hammond Lecturer gives a public address and meets with faculty and students in classes and workshops during a two-day campus visit.


The 2013 Hammond Lecturer:

Laura S. Nasrallah
Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Harvard Divinity School

Laura Nasrallah's research and teaching bring together New Testament and early Christian literature with the archaeological remains of the Mediterranean world, and often engage issues of colonialism, gender, status, and power. Her first book, An Ecstasy of Folly: Prophecy and Authority in Early Christianity, focuses on 1 Corinthians and on materials from the second- and third-century controversies over prophecy and the nature of the soul. In Christian Responses to Roman Art and Architecture: The Second-Century Church Amid the Spaces of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2010) she argues that early Christian literature addressed to Greeks and Romans is best understood when read in tandem with the archaeological remains of the Roman world. Early Christians discussed justice, piety, and God's image in the midst of sculptures and monumental architecture asserting the value and marketability of Greek culture, as well as the justice, piety, and even divinity of the Roman imperial family and other elites. The Acts of the Apostles and the writings of Justin, Athenagoras, Tatian, and Clement are the foundational texts for this study. She is also co-editor, with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, of Prejudice and Christian Beginnings: Investigating Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Early Christian Studies (Fortress Press, 2009) and, with Charalambos Bakirtzis and Steven J. Friesen, of From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonik?: Studies in Religion and Archaeology (Harvard University Press, 2010).

Among her current projects are a book on archaeology and the letters of Paul and a commentary on 1 Corinthians for the Hermeneia series. A project funded by the Office of the Provost focused on uses of the New Testament in U.S. popular culture and politics. See more about Prof. Nasrallah here.


The 2013 Hammond Lecture:

Apostle Paul, St. Paul: The Ethics of History
Thursday, October 17, 2013
7:00 pm
3100 Torgersen Hall
The public is invited

Download a Flyer Here.

Open reception immediately following in Torgersen Museum.

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As part of the Hammond Lectureship, Prof. Nasrallah will also be the guest of a Religion class (an undergraduate seminar) and a seminar for graduate students and faculty.  These events are not open to the public. 


"Dice Oracles & Fate: On early Christians among others in the 2nd century"

(click title to download paper -- requires VT PID)

Friday, October 18, 10am
427 Major Williams


Click here for an archive of past Hammond Lecturers