In 2004, Dr. Walter B. Shurden and Dr. Kay W. Shurden of Macon, Georgia, made a gift to BJC to establish an annual lectureship on the issues of religious liberty and the separation of church and state. Learn more and read about this year’s lecture at BJConline.org/ShurdenLectures.
2023, May 31
Lecturer: Dr. Catherine Brekus, the Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America at Harvard Divinity School,
Location: Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts
Recap in our fall 2023 magazine: The myth of American ‘chosenness’
2022, March 29-30
Lecturer: Rev. Dr. Jonathan C. “Jay” Augustine, a multidisciplinary professional who serves in both ordained ministry and academia. In addition to serving as the senior pastor of St. Joseph AME Church in Durham, North Carolina, and as a missional strategist with the Duke Center for Reconciliation, he is also a law professor at North Carolina Central University.
Location: Mercer University in Atlanta and Macon, Georgia
Recap in our summer 2022 magazine: Breaking down the boundaries created by Christian nationalism
And Who Is My Neighbor? (March 29, 2022)
Religious Liberty and Christian Nationalism: A Political History and Problematic Present (March 30, 2022)
Making America Great Again?: Christian Nationalism and Recent Attempts to Undermine Democracy (March 30, 2022)
2021, April 15
Title: Religious Liberty Has Been White Too Long: Voices of Black Scholars
Lecturers: Dr. Nicole Myers Turner of Yale University; Dr. Teresa L. Smallwood of Vanderbilt Divinity School; Dr. Anthony Pinn of Rice University; and Dr. David Goatley of Duke Divinity School.
2020, March 5
Lecturer: Eboo Patel, the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a non-profit organization that is working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm in America.
Locations: Baptist House of Studies at Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas, Texas.
Are you ready to be an interfaith leader? (Article in BJC magazine)
Presentation #1: Religious Freedom and a Theology of Interfaith Cooperation (Video)
Presentation #2: Conversation with Eboo Patel and George Mason (Video)
Presentation #3: Religious Freedom and Interfaith Leadership (Video)
2019, March 26-27
Lecturer: Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins, mayor of Collegeville, Pennsylvania; prior to that he served as CEO of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies and Judson Press.
Locations: Tuesday, March 26, at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri; Wednesday, March 27, at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas. The lectures were hosted by Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas.
Race, resistance, religion and rage (Report from the Capital, Summer 2019)
Aidsand Wright-Riggins: Race, resistance, religion and rage (Video)
Race, religious liberty and reconciliation: A conversation with Aidsand Wright-Riggins (Podcast)
2018, March 20-21
Lecturer: Charles C. Haynes, founding director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
Location: Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and Mercer’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta
Follow Your Conscience and Raise Your Voice (Report from the Capital, March/April 2018)
Liberty of Conscience and the Future of American Democracy (Video)
Standing up for Justice and Freedom in an Age of Conflict and Division (Video)
From Battleground to Common Ground: A First Amendment Vision for Religious Liberty in Public Life (Video)
Charles Haynes previews the 2018 Shurden Lectures (Podcast)
2017, March 27-28
Lecturer: Holly Hollman, general counsel and associate executive director of BJC
Location: Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina
Hollman on religious liberty in real life (Report from the Capital, March/April 2017)
Religious Liberty – Where do we begin? (Video)
Holly Hollman on religious freedom in real life (Video)
2017 Shurden Lecture Recap (Video)
2016, April 4-5
Lecturer: Dr. Molly Marshall, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas
Location: Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota
Marshall explores competing religious liberties in 2016 Shurden Lectures (Report from the Capital, April 2016)
Preserving Religious Liberty for a Christian Minority (Video)
Understanding Religious Liberty Amidst Religious Pluralism (Video)
2016 Shurden Lectures Recap (Video)
2015, April 7-8
Lecturer: Alan Brownstein, professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, School of Law
Location: Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia
Respectful discourse, religious liberty and equality highlight 2015 Shurden Lectures (Report from the Capital, May 2015)
Engaging in Respectful Discourse about Religion and Equality (Video)
The Multi-Dimensional Nature of Church-State Controversies (Video)
Liberty & Equality Values in the Hobby Lobby and Town of Greece Decisions (Video)
2014, April 1-2
Lecturer: Michael Meyerson, professor of law and Piper and Marbury Faculty Fellow at the University of Baltimore
Location: Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Revisionists get church & state wrong, law professor says (Article)
‘Cherry-pickers’ misrepresent Founders’ church-state views (Article)
The False Divide: Religious Support for the Separation of Church State (Video)
Freedom of Religion: The Framers’ Extraordinary Compromise (Video)
2013, April 9-10
Lecturer: Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
Location: Stetson University, DeLand, Fla.
Clearing up misconceptions at the church-state intersection (Article)
First Principles: God-given, but government protected (Video)
First Freedoms: Accommodate religion, but don’t advance it (Video)
Religion and Politics: How did we do in 2012? (Video)
2012, April 17-18
Lecturer: Dr. Franklin T. Lambert, professor of history at Purdue University and author
Location: Mercer University, Macon, Ga., Fla.
Reflections: Lambert book separates propaganda from history (Article)
Lambert: America is both religious and secular, sometimes in tension (Article)
America Conceived as a Christian Nation?: The Separation of Good and Bad History (Video)
A Secular/Sacred Alliance in the Fight for Religious Liberty (Video)
Constituting the Separation of Church and State (Video)
2011, April 4-5
Lecturer: Melissa Rogers, the director of Wake Forest University Divinity School’s Center for Religion and Public Affairs and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
Location: Georgetown College, Georgetown, Ky.
Rogers handles hot topics at 2011 Shurden Lectures (Article)
Keeping Faith Free: Religious Expression in American Public Life (Video)
An American and Christian case for defending Muslims’ free exercise rights (Video)
Faith-based partnerships under Presidents Bush and Obama (Video)
2010, April 27-28
Lecturer: Dr. Martin E. Marty, former professor of religious history at the University of Chicago and author
Location: Samford University, Birmingham, Ala.
Founders front and center at 2010 Shurden Lectures (Article)
On Not Privileging the Privileging of Religion: A clue from Montesquieu (Video)
On the Difference Indifference Can Make: A clue from Franklin (Video)
On Tracing Lines, Not Building Walls: A clue from Madison (Video)
2009, April 14-15
Lecturer: Dr. Randall Balmer, professor of religious history at Barnard College and author
Location: Mercer University, Macon, Ga.
Balmer speaks on Baptists, belief and bamboozling (Article)
So Help Me God: Religion and the Presidency since John F. Kennedy (Video)
Where Have All the Baptists Gone: The Betrayal of an American Institution (Video)
Keep the Faith: Reclaiming Christianity from the Religious Right (Video)
2008, April 14-15
Lecturer: Dr. Charles G. Adams, pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, Mich., and one of the nation’s most prominent ministers
Location: Wake Forest University Divinity School, Winston-Salem, N.C.
2007, February 26-27
Lecturer: Dr. James M. Dunn, Professor of Christianity and Public Policy at Wake Forest Divinity School in Winston-Salem, N.C., and former executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
Location: Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee
2006, April 4-5
Lecturer: Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religion Action Center of Reform Judaism
Location: Mercer University, Macon, Ga.
Mercer Hosts Inaugural Shurden Lectures (Article)
‘Genius of America’ based on individual rights, rabbi says (Article)
Rabbi warns of politicizing religion, says freedom from religion better (Article)