The Bible, animals and ecology are topics of Oct. 15 lecture

The Bible, animals and ecology are topics of Oct. 15 lecture

Oct. 9, 2018

Dr. Ken Stone, Professor of Bible, Culture and Hermeneutics at Chicago Theological Seminary, will speak at Maryville College Oct. 15.

Stone’s lecture, titled “All These Look to God: Reading the Bible in the Anthropocene,” will explore how biblical creation accounts shape or re-shape modern concerns around animals and ecology. Scheduled for 7 p.m. in Fayerweather Hall’s Lawson Auditorium, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Stone is the author of “Reading the Hebrew Bible with Animal Studies.” A Lambda Literary Award winner, he focuses his research on the relationship between critical theory and biblical interpretation and matters of gender, sexuality, animals and ecology. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate from Vanderbilt University, a master of theology degree from Harvard Divinity School, a master of divinity from the Church of God School of Theology and a bachelor’s degree from Lee College.

“Dr. Stone has written a fascinating book which challenges scholars to read and interpret the biblical texts in light of the emerging field of critical animal studies,” said Dr. Phillip Sherman, associate professor of religion at the College. “I believe attendees will find his lecture very thought-provoking.”

Stone’s visit is funded through a “Teaching of the Bible Grant” that Maryville College received from the Presbyterian Church (USA). With the two-year, $10,000 grant, the religion faculty at MC – with the strong support of the Center for Campus Ministry – established “The Maryville Seminar on Socially Engaged Teaching of the Bible.”

The seminar serves several purposes: to equip instructors at Maryville College and other institutions of higher education with innovative and socially engaged approaches to teaching the Bible; to expose students and members of the larger community to exceptional models of biblical scholarship in dialogue with pressing social issues; to disseminate scholarship and pedagogical materials more broadly to the larger scholarly and ecclesial communities; and to eventually expand the number of interdisciplinary biblical studies course topics within the core curriculum of Maryville College.

“In each case, our goal is to demonstrate the important connections between the reading and interpretation of Scripture and intellectual and faithful engagements with the contemporary context,” said Sherman, who is the administrator of the grant.

Sherman is producing a podcast called “Teaching a Bible That Matters,” which includes interviews with professors who teach biblical studies.


Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”