November 10, 2010

McDonald chair to bring international perspective to lecture series, teaching

The Rev. Dr. Beauty Maenzanise is known as a leader in theological education, especially in the United Methodist Church worldwide.

The Rev. Dr. Beauty Maenzanise, the 2010-2011 Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and their Impact on Culture, will give the first McDonald lecture of the year.

"Towards an African Theology of Mission: A Case Study of Zimbabwe United Methodist Church," on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m. in Cannon Chapel, is free and open to the public. Maenzanise is dean of the theology faculty at Africa University in Zimbabwe.

As the McDonald chair, Maenzanise will teach one course at Candler School of Theology during the spring semester, as well as give two public lectures and preach in chapel services.

Maenzanise is known as a leader in theological education, especially in the United Methodist Church worldwide. She holds Ph.D. and M.Phi. degrees in liturgical studies from Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Drew University. She also holds master of sacred theology and master of divinity degrees from Drew Theological Seminary.

Year of internationalization

"The McDonald Family Chair has been held in previous years by scholars from the United States,” says Dean Jan Love. “During Candler's year of internationalization, which began in January 2010, I thought it was important to invite a scholar from another continent to hold this chair.”

"Beauty is deeply committed to educating African leaders for congregations and educational institutions across the continent," Love says, "and I am very proud that Candler is partnering with Africa University in fulfilling this great mission."

Prior to being named dean at Africa University, Maenzanise was acting dean of the theology faculty and lecturer. She also has been Carpenter Visiting Professor for Liturgics at Lancaster Theological Seminary. She is now a member of The United Methodist Church Committee on Faith and Order.

"This is an opportunity I have been dreaming of since I completed my doctoral studies. Candler has opened that door for me," she says of the McDonald chair appointment "I hope that my being here gives students and faculty a chance to learn more about other cultures, and Southern African culture in particular, and to learn more about and appreciate each other."

In addition to her lectures and teaching, Maenzanise will focus much of her energy on writing and finishing a book on African Christian worship.

About the McDonald Family Chair

The Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair in the Study of Jesus and Culture was established at Emory in 1998 by the McDonald Agape Foundation, chaired by Alonzo L. McDonald, a longtime trustee of Emory. The McDonald Agape Foundation "supports lectures and other public presentations that deal creatively and imaginatively with the person and teachings of Jesus as they shape and form culture." The foundation has established McDonald chairs at Emory and at Harvard University.

Past holders of the McDonald chair include historian Jaroslav Pelikan; Judge John T. Noonan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; composer Alice Parker; art historian Herbert Kessler; and author, historian and documentary filmmaker Randall Balmer, among others.

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