The Ebor Lectures in Theology and Public Life were the brainchild of Professor Sebastian Kim, one of the leading authorities in Public Theology. In 2005 Sebastian was appointed to the Chair in Theology and Public Life in the School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy at York St John University. In this role he was the founding editor of the International Journal of Public Theology, and set up the Ebor Lectures.
From their inception the Ebor Lectures were to be an ecumenical project, co-sponsored and co-organised by Christian bodies that had contributed funding towards the Chair in Theology and Public Life, including the Methodist-run York Institute for Community Theology (now wound-up) and the Catholic religious order of Carmelite Friars, as well as York St John University and York Minster (both Anglican institutions), and the multi-denominational Churches Regional Commission for Yorkshire and the Humber (now wound-up).
The inaugural lecture was given in York Minster on 13th September 2006 by Most. Revd. Dr. John Sentamu, who had been Archbishop of York since the start of that year.
Since that inaugural event the Ebor Lectures have gone from strength to strength, as attested to by our archive.
In 2017 Sebastian Kim moved to Fuller Theological Seminary in California as Professor of Theology and Public Life and Assistant Provost for its Korean Studies Center. In the same year he co-edited The Companion to Public Theology. Although the Chair in Theology and Public Life did not continue at York St John University, the Ebor Lectures have continued to the present day.