YDS’s Kathryn Tanner delivers Gifford Lectures at Edinburgh

Kathryn Tanner, Frederick Marquand Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School, delivered the six-part Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh May 2-12.

In a twist on the famous Max Weber work, Tanner titled her lectures “Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism.” The lectures explored cultural forms of finance-dominated capitalism and how Christian beliefs and practices have the potential to counter these forms’ pervasive and often negative impact on human lives and communities.


Follow and participate in Edinburgh’s blog on Tanner’s lectures.

Below are the lectures videos from the series:



Kathryn Tanner has served on the YDS faculty since 2010 after teaching at the University of Chicago Divinity School for 16 years and in Yale’s Department of Religious Studies for 10. Her research relates the history of Christian thought to contemporary issues of theological concern using social, cultural, and feminist theory.

Tanner is the author of God and Creation in Christian Theology: Tyranny or Empowerment? (Blackwell, 1988); The Politics of God: Christian Theologies and Social Justice (Fortress, 1992); Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology (Fortress, 1997); Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology (Fortress, 2001); Economy of Grace (Fortress, 2005); Christ the Key (Cambridge, 2010); and scores of scholarly articles and book chapters.

As Tanner explained in a 2011 interview, Christian faith and practice can speak to the values and malfunctions of the global economic system. “Global capitalism can be changed and redirected by human decision,” she writes in her book Economy of Grace. “It is not the immovable object or implacable juggernaut that neoliberal economists would like us to think it is. The shape of capitalism has never been the pure product of economic forces but always the precipitate of additional social and political forces working together or against one another to push it this way or that.”

The prestigious Gifford Lectures (held at the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and St. Andrews) have been delivered annually since 1888 by a succession of distinguished international scholars. Established under the will of Adam Lord Gifford (1820-1887), a Senator of the College of Justice at the University of Edinburgh, the lectures aim to “promote and diffuse the study of natural Theology in the widest sense of the term—in other words, the knowledge of God.”
May 12, 2016