A crowd of more than 600 gathered to hear William F. Buckley deliver the third annual Hubert L. Dellinger Jr. Lecture Jan. 25 on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. His lecture emphasized themes found in his 1997 book, Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith and included a question and answer session.
Buckley’s address featured his observation that the Christian viewpoint has been consistently diminished in many areas of American society, especially at large universities. He insisted that many institutions have consciously omitted any reference to Christ or Christian holy days for fear of offending some or for fear of being perceived as sponsoring a particular religious viewpoint. Buckley observed that his analysis of the situation points to an inconsistency in such practices since a non-religious ideology is still an ideology that is expressed through actions taken.
Buckley called for the appointment of a few Christian scholars in major university faculties across the country. Such individuals, he insisted, must have scholarly credentials of the highest order and be willing to articulate a Christian position in the face of others who would oppose it. Such a practice, Buckley insisted, could have a profound effect on the public discourse.
“We are delighted to offer a speaker of Mr. Buckley’s caliber to our Seminary community and to those in the St. Louis area,” commented Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary. “His address was an eloquent reminder that we are called upon to give an answer for the hope that lies within us and to do so without apology.”
Established in 1997, the Hubert L. Dellinger Jr. Lecture Series was designed to feature nationally-known speakers who would address subjects which intersect the disciplines of theology, sociology, philosophy and law. The inaugural lecture was delivered on January 28, 1998 by United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. “Mr. Buckley provided a wonderful continuation of this lecture series,” commented Johnson, “and we are committed to bring other equally insightful voices to stimulate and challenge through these lectures.”
Buckley in 1955 founded the conservative journal National Review, which is today the journal of opinion with the largest circulation in America.
He began his syndicated column, “On the Right,” in 1962. Today it appears three times a week in over 300 newspapers here and abroad. In 1967 he was named Best Columnist of the Year, and he is a winner of the Distinguished Achievement Award in Journalism.
Buckley began hosting his weekly television show “Firing Line” in 1966. By 1971, the program was carried coast to coast on the Public Broadcasting System. Today it is the longest-running TV program in the United States featuring the same host. He has won an Emmy Award for program achievement and the TV Guide Award for the Best Television Interviewer.
He is the author of other books including Brothers No More (1995), Buckley: The Right Word (1996) and The Red Hunter (1999).
He has been awarded over 35 honorary degrees and was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 1991. In 1983, Buckley received the International Platform Association’s Emerson Award, an honor given to those persons considered to be the top speakers in their chosen fields.
For more information, contact Rev. Glen D. Thomas, Vice President for Seminary Relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 De Mun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; 314-505-7370; firstname.lastname@example.org.