Stan Grant gives the Sorensen Lecture at Yale Divinity School:
“Exile: A refuge from history”
Last week I accompanied Stan Grant jnr., who recently submitted his PhD through St Marks / CSU to give the Sorensen lecture at Yale Divinity School on 15 November 2023, entitled “Exile: A refuge from history.” Stan was introduced by my friend and former Professor Miroslav Volf who considered Stan not only one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals, but also the worlds.
Stan confronted the current reality in Israel and Gaza, which encapsulates all the war and affliction in world, asking what his words might offer such realities? Stan drew on his doctoral research, Yindymarra as Theology to consider how we relate to each other to create a world worth living in. Drawing on four decades of experience as a journalist and frontline reported in war zones from Afghanistan to the Middle East, Stan reflected on the small and quiet intimacy of war, which politics, protest and the media do not understand, nor express. Much commentary, Stan concluded — that of the pundits and the protestors — merely added noise. Quiet, old words, such as lament and love—the language of poetry, not politics—is the only words available in forsaken places.
The implications for Christians and every Australian this side of the referendum is profound, although this was not foregrounded for an international audience. Stan implored his audience—all of us—to create soft spaces for hard questions.
Full speech below:
The Rev Dr Geoff Broughton
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Charles Sturt University / St Marks National Theological Centre