The 2009 lecture commemorating the work of Hope alumnus and world-famous peace activist, A.J. Muste will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music.

This year's speaker is Dr. David Gushee, who is the Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at the McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University and will present "What the Torture Debate Reveals about American Christianity."

In addition, a poetry reading has been scheduled in anticipation of the lecture, and will be presented on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.  The event will include a performance by the Women's Chamber Choir.

The public is invited to both the Feb. 18 poetry reading and the Feb. 19 lecture.  Admission is free.

Beyond his work at Mercer, Gushee is the president of Evangelical for Human Rights, a columnist for Associated Baptist Press, and a contributing editor for "Christianity Today."  Gushee also serves as co-chair of the Biblical/Contextual Ethics Group of the AmericanAcademy of Religion and on the Christian Ethics Commission of the Baptist World Alliance.  He has published 11 books; 80 scholarly essays, book chapters, articles, reviews, and hundreds of magazine articles and opinion pieces.  His books include the award-winning "Kingdom Ethics," "Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust" and "Only Human." He was the principal drafter of both the "Evangelical Climate Initiative" (2006) and the "Evangelical Declaration against Torture" (2007).

The Muste lecture series began in 1985 to commemorate the life and work of A.J. Muste, an alumnus of Hope College (1905) who became a tireless activist for the causes of peace and justice.

Jane Oolmans Robinson, Muste's biographer, presented the inaugural lecture. Subsequent lectures have been given by theologians, peace activists, labor organizers and prison reformers; many of the speakers have been HopeCollege alumni.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.  Nykerk Hall of Music is located in the central Hope campus at the former 127 E. 12th St. between College and Columbia avenues.