Professor Flett gives an inaugural professorial lecture.

The Newness of the Gospel: Difference as Catholicity

Inaugural Professorial Lecture of Reverend Professor John Flett

Professor Flett was appointed a Professor of the University of Divinity by the Council on 17 June 2020. He is noted for his outstanding contribution to Research, Leadership in the Academy, and Learning and Teaching.

In celebration of the appointment, the University invited Professor Flett to give an inaugural professorial lecture. The lecture was hosted by Pilgrim Theological College on the evening of Tuesday 18 May 2021. Guests attended both in-person and online via livestream.

The lecture, titled “The Ever Newness of the Gospel: Difference as Catholicity,” set theological claims regarding the “fullness” of the gospel, for which the encounter with cultural difference is necessary, in relation to the experience of “deculturation” as observed through world Christianity. It interrogated the extent to which theologies of catholicity might promote deculturation, especially through the ecumenical movement’s deficient attention to “diversity,” and examined how notions of “Christian history” privilege certain embodied forms of the faith to the detriment of local theologies and embodiments. The conclusion offered a different theological framing, but, more importantly, a commentary of the needed re-structuring of theology.

A presentation of Professor Flett’s lecture may be viewed here: The Ever Newness of the Gospel: Difference as Catholicity

Professor Flett specialises in constructive theologies of mission set in conversation with intercultural and ecumenical theologies. His publications have explored such ranging topics as the doctrine of the Trinity, apostolicity, ecumenical theologies of mission, intercultural hermeneutics, migrant Christianity, and missional church. He has lived and taught in the USA, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Korea, Germany, the DRC, Romania, and Australia. His full profile may be viewed here.

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