07. April 2022

The 2022 Lombard Prize Congratulations to David Brandon Smith

Congratulations to David Brandon Smith

We are very pleased to announce that our BCDSS doctoral researcher David Brandon Smith is third-place winner of the 2022 Lombard Prize of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) with his essay, “A Liberative Reformed Linguistic: Ecumenical Formation Programs, Gender and Sexuality.” Congratulations!

The third-place winner of the 2022 Lombard Prize
The third-place winner of the 2022 Lombard Prize © Barbara Frommann
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Essays by three young theologians from the United Kingdom, Brazil, and United States have been selected as winners of the 2022 Lombard Prize.

The Prize’s aim is to encourage theological work in the tradition of Reformed thought that responds to challenges of our time, bringing together elements of faith and theology in dialogue with justice and peace issues and mission in the world—all central themes of Reformed witness.

Short abstract of David's essay:

A Liberative Reformed Linguistic: Ecumenical Formation Programs, Gender & Sexuality
The paper contends that short-term study and exposure programs like the WCRC’s Global Institute of Theology, the WCC’s Global Ecumenical Theological Institute, and the University of Bonn’s Master of Arts in Ecumenical Studies program provide unique opportunities for emerging scholars and church leaders to develop life-giving linguistics around human sexuality. The paper includes a reflection on the historical/theological foundations of ecumenical formation as understood by the Swiss theologian and church leader, Adolf Keller. It also briefly explicates some of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s relevant insights and calls for a revisiting of the pre-systematized reflections of individual theologians during the ecumenical movement’s impressionable years. The paper’s third section explores how the development of liberative Reformed linguistics around gender and sexuality relates to the central aim of ecumenical formation programs, which is to impart a shared sense of identity and instill a commitment to the ecumenical imperative. After a brief exploration of the global situation facing those who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics, Smith calls the world’s largest Reformed Protestant body to liberate its current discourse and develop a deeper understanding of its calling to communion and commitment to justice.

“To me, the Lombard Prize is about more than a celebration of emerging scholars, it is also about declaring the openness of our communion to the future God has designed for us. In the years and decades to come, we will continue to face great challenges and ask over-arching questions together. I pray we will do so in the spirit of unity, siblinghood, and justice to which Christ has called us.” (David B. Smith)

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