Each year, The Seattle School offers the Stanley Grenz Lecture Series to advance theological discourse as an expression of faith and service in honor of former Professor Stanley Grenz, a prolific Christian scholar with a pastoral heart and deep intellectual presence.

On January 13, 2023, we were grateful to have as our featured speaker Phil AllenJr., author, teacher, pastor, and creative, whose research on Black Church theology, liturgy, and ethics further undergirds his own ethics of justice, healing racial trauma, and racial solidarity. His lecture on “Between Liminality and Liberation: Altering and Alternative Narratives” included spoken-word poetry as well as explorations of narratives and liminal spaces both personal and cultural. Dr. Chelle Stearns, Associate Professor of Theology, and Dr. J. Derek McNeil, President and Provost, joined Phil Allen, Jr., for a panel discussion at the end of the evening.

A Ph.D. candidate in Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary, Phil Allen, Jr., advocated for understanding, appreciating, and responding to liminal spaces in our individual and collective lives, including revisiting liturgies that anchor us with imagination and creativity, leading to healing and solidarity. The narratives, or stories, that we live into are altered by the negative disruptions of trauma, as well as the positive influences of art and life-giving relationships.

Thanks again to Phil Allen, Jr., for speaking to our community at the 10th Annual Stanley Grenz Lecture Series.