Contact: Jenni Smith or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

Jan. 28, 2003


DALLAS (SMU) -- Pastors from across the country will explore the intersection of ministry, faith, spirituality and popular culture at Perkins School of Theology's annual Ministers Week Feb. 3-5.

More than 200 ministers are expected to attend three days of lectures and workshops exploring topics such as the Internet, Christianity and fantasy literature such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, and responding to popular "end times" media.

The majority of Ministers Week lectures and workshops will be held in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St.

For information about times and locations for lectures and workshops during Ministers' Week, contact Perkins at (214) 768-3515, or visit the Web site at

Highlighted speakers at Ministers Week 2003 include:

  • Mark Pinsky, author of The Gospel According to The Simpsons: The Spiritual Life of the World's Most Animated Family, will present the Wednesday lecture. His topic is "Religion and Popular Culture: Shotgun Wedding, Marriage of Convenience or Match Made in Heaven?" Pinsky is a religion editor for the Orlando Sentinel.
  • Brenda Brasher will present "Religion Dot-Com" as the Fondren Lecture. Brasher, assistant professor of religion and philosophy at Mount Union College, is the author of Give Me That Online Religion and the editor of the Encyclopedia of Fundamentalism. She frequently serves as a religion consultant to MSNBC and has been documenting and analyzing Web sites of traditional and alternative religious groups.
  • David Schnasa Jacobsen will present "Preaching in the New Creation: The Promise of Apocalyptic Texts for Today's Pulpit" for the Peyton Lecture. He is an associate professor of homiletics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. He is the author of Preaching Luke-Acts, co-authored with Günter Wasserberg.
  • Tom Beaudoin, the author of Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X, will present the Martin Lectures on "The Branding Economy in Everyday Life" and "Economic Discipleship for Ministry Today." Beaudoin is the visiting assistant professor at Boston College, Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry.
  • Irving Cotto, senior pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Camden, N.J., will present the Barton Lecture, "Community Gifts for the Liturgical Assembly." He serves a multicultural congregation in the Greater New Jersey Conference and is an accomplished musician, leading workshops on liturgy and worship throughout the country.
  • Thomas Slater, author of Christ and Community, is an associate professor in the Department of Religion and the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Georgia. He will present the Jackson Lecture, "Context, Christology and Civil Disobedience in the Book of Revelation."

In addition to the workshops and lectures, Perkins' Bridwell Library will open its exhibit honoring the 300th birthday of John Wesley, Wesley in America, in The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries. Curated by Richard Heitzenrater and Peter Forsaith, the exhibit opens Feb. 3. It will focus on three main areas: the conflict between the Anglican Church and the church in America; slavery in America; and Methodist reaction to taxation, the American Revolution, and slavery. It will include recent Bridwell acquisitions, including one of only two existing copies of John Wesley's will, an original score by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, and the lost journal passages (1749-1751) of John Wesley. Also included will be items from the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England, such as Wesley's Georgia diary (1735-1736) and manuscripts of John and Charles Wesley regarding "the situation in North America" and "American patriots."