2018 Bailey Lectures | James K. A. Smith | Augustine our Contemporary: Ancient Wisdom for a Secular Age

Date and Time

Friday, October 19th - Sunday, October 21st
7:00 PM


All Saints Episcopal Church
209 W. 27th St
Austin, TX 78705


The Bailey Lectures return in 2018 with renowned author and philosopher, James K.A. Smith.

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The Front Porch is delighted to help curate The Bailey Lectures at All Saints’ each fall in honor of The Rt. Rev. Scott Field Bailey and his many years of service to his church and his community. This signature event always brings a notable and influential thought leader to Austin to give us perspective and insight into our intention to live faithfully and well with others in our life journey. Previous speakers at the Baileys include The Rt. Rev John Shelby Sponge, Peter Rollins, John Philip Newell and numerous others.

James K. A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, trained with a focus on interpreting social and cultural thought and life. Dr. Smith is an engaged intellectual and cultural critic. An award-winning author and widely-traveled speaker, he has emerged as a thought leader with a unique gift of translation and a notable ability to build bridges between the academy, society, and the church. An established author with a number of books, Smith regularly writes for the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesSlateFirst ThingsChristianity TodayBooks & Culture, and The Hedgehog Review. He serves as editor-in-chief of Comment magazine.

Speaking to this year’s topic, Smith mused:

“Our ‘secular’ age is more religious than we think…we’re still on a quest for meaning; we still make pilgrimages to holy sites looking for redemption or wholeness; we are still trying to find ourselves. But we also experience constant frustration and disappointment, which increasingly manifests itself as intolerance and demonization and polarization. When we “naturalize” significance—when we look for meaning in the political, for example—then anyone who disagrees with us is nothing short of a heretic.[In a sense,] we’ve inherited we’ve inherited something like Augustine’s questions—and his quest—but to this point we’ve spurned his specific answer: the grace found in Jesus Christ. I want to suggest that this ancient African has both read our postmodern mail (he understands our idolatries) and has a word of liberation for us.”

In other words, get excited, folks. We’re going deep, as only the Baileys can.

More info and lecture titles to be announced. Schedule below is likely. Mark your calendars!

Lecture Schedule:

Friday, October 19th: First Lecture, Q & A @ 7p 

                                       Reception @ 8:30p

Saturday, October 20th: Second Lecture, Q & A @ 9a

                                         Third Lecture @ 11a

Sunday, October 21st: Participation in Services at All Saints’ (TBD)

The Bailey Lecture Series is the direct result of endowment funds given by the parishioners of All Saints’ to honor the many years of outstanding service of The Rt. Rev. Scott Field Bailey to All Saints’ as Rector from 1951-1961 and then as Bishop of the Diocese of West Texas from 1977 until his retirement in 1987. Each year this endowment fund is used to promote and bring thought leaders and theologians to All Saints’ and offer their insights and expertise to the parish and the community at no charge. The Rt. Rev. Scott Field Bailey died in San Antonio on April 9, 2005. He helped people realize the love of God within themselves and the love that God has for all people. It is with a pride that we honor him with The Bailey Lecture Series.

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