Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-08-25


New Testament scholar and educator Dr. Gail R. O’Day will present Samford University’s 2010 Holley-Hull Lectures Sept. 8-9.

O’Day, dean and professor of New Testament and Preaching at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, is a specialist in the Gospel of John, the Bible and preaching, and the history of biblical interpretation.

She will speak at Birmingham’s Baptist Church of the Covenant at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 8. Her topic will be “The Gospel of John and the Theology of Friendship: Jesus as Friend.”

O’Day will present two lectures at Samford on Thursday, Sept. 9. She will speak at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel on the topic “Friendship as Radical Christian Practice.” Her topic at 3 p.m. in Brooks Auditorium will be  “Sacraments of Friendship: Embodied Love in the Gospel of John.” A reception will follow the afternoon lecture.

The public is invited to any of the lectures free of charge.

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, O’Day is a graduate of Brown University. She holds a master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate in New Testament from Emory University, where she was senior associate dean at Candler School of Theology before being named to the Wake Forest post earlier this year.

She has written, edited or co-edited a number of books and articles, including Theological Bible Commentary (2009) and Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: A Guide (2007). She wrote the commentary on the Gospel of John in The New Interpreters Bible (1996). A former editor of Journal of Biblical Literature, she is currently general editor of the Society of Biblical Literature book series, Early Christianity and its Literature. 

O’Day’s Birmingham talks are part of the Samford religion department’s annual Howard L. and Martha H. Holley Lectures: New Testament Voices for a Contemporary World, in honor of university professor and retired Samford provost Dr. William E. Hull.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.