Listening to James, Acting Faithfully

Date(s) - 10/20/2018
9:00 am - 1:45 pm

Northway Christian Church


Listening to James, Acting Faithfully
Seventh Joan and Aubrey Gearner Seminar
Saturday, October 20, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Margaret Aymer, First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, D. Thomason Professor of New Testament, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, TX

For many people of faith, the book of James can be summarized as “faith without works is dead.” This seminar explores the Letter of James with an eye to deepening and complicating that summation. Participants will review the argument that the author of James puts forward. Questions such as the authorship and dating of the letter will be explored. In addition, participants will consider how the author engages in constructive theology for his day; how he describes the nature and work of God in creation, the role and purpose of community, and the praxis of faith. Participants will engage James’ prophetic declamations against “the world” of his day and the challenges these pose to us in our day. Finally, participants will consider what difference it might make that James writes “to the twelve tribes in Dispersion,” and how James might be read as a migrant writing and a diaspora space.

Margaret Aymer loves James, and returns to him frequently in her writing and teaching. Two of her books address James: First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass Reads James, and James: Diaspora Rhetoric of a Friend of God. Additionally, two of her 2018-2019 sabbatical projects return her to James’ company. Her mission is to reintroduce this pithy gem of Christian prophetic and ethical teaching to the church. Rev. Dr. Aymer is the First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, D. Thomason Professor of New Testament at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church, USA. She is happily married to Dr. Laurent Oget and they are the lucky parents of five year old son Gabriel. When not off teaching or preaching somewhere, Dr. Aymer is most likely to be found in a choir, happily singing; or off in a corner reading fiction.