November 30, 2011

Advance Notice

Religion professor whose controversial theology made history to speak at Cannon Chapel

Thomas J.J. Altizer

"Of all Emory's historic figures, Thomas J. J. Altizer — the subject of the 1966 'Is God Dead?' TIME magazine cover and the firestorm that followed — may be the most infamous." So reads the opening line of his 175th anniversary History Makers biography.

Altizer, who taught religion at Emory from 1956 to 1968, will return to campus to be recognized at the 175th anniversary convocation on Dec. 7, preach at University Worship on Dec. 4 and lead a Chapel Tea on Dec. 5.

Altizer's progressive New Testament theology and leadership in "the death of God" movement thrust his scholarship - and the University - into the national spotlight. Despite calls from both sides of the debate for his termination, Emory leaders defended his academic freedom. 

The Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life has invited Altizer to speak in Cannon Chapel on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. Following the service, the weekly community meal will be served in Brooks Commons.

On Monday, Dec. 5, he will be the guest speaker at the 4 p.m. Chapel Tea in Cannon Chapel Sanctuary. From 3:30 to 5:30, Altizer will be signing books. Among the available titles will be "Living the Death of God: A Theological Memoir" (State University of New York Press, 2006), which refers to Emory and the strong institutional support he received during his controversial time here.

In a 175th anniversary video, Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life Susan Henry-Crowe reflects on Thomas Altizer's impact:

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