The Inaugural Robert Farrar Capon Lecture

Rev. Dr. Tony LewisTo present the first Robert Farrar Capon Memorial Lecture, the Mercer School of Theology and the Diocese of Long Island welcomed back the Reverend Dr. Lloyd Alexander "Tony" Lewis, Jr.

Dr. Lewis served as Dean of the Mercer School of Theology from 1991 to 2000 and served twice on the faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary.

His area of expertise is the Christian Scriptures. Dr. Lewis' Ph.D. is from Yale University, where he also earned an M.A. and a M.Phil. in New Testament Studies. He holds an M.Div degree from Virginia Theological Seminary and an A.B. in Classics from Trinity College, Hartford CT.

Inaugural Lecture Title

"Of Uppity Widows, Mugged Travelers, and the Lost and Found Department: Jesus and the Formation of Modern Disciples."

A crucial element in the ministry of Jesus was his teaching in parables. Robert Capon focused three of his writings on the parables and their meaning.

This inaugural lecture focused on the use of three of the parables from Luke's gospel as part of the intentional program of Jesus for preparing disciples for ministry in the church and beyond.

(Please click on the red > button to hear the lecture.)

This inaugural lecture occasion included a festive reception that featured musical entertainment by the choir, orchestra, and dancers of Saint Joseph's Parish Day School in Queens Village, NY. Student artwork was on display near classrooms and on Mercer's Vision Wall, the school's exhibition gallery.


Robert Farrar Capon
October 26, 1925 – September 5, 2013

Robert Farrar Capon was an Episcopal priest and author. He was born in Jackson Heights, Queens in 1925. A lifelong New Yorker, for almost thirty years Capon was a full-time parish priest in Port Jefferson, New York.

In 1965, he published his first book, Bed and Board, and in 1977 he left the full-time ministry to devote more time to his writing career. He authored a total of twenty books, including Between Noon and Three, The Supper of the Lamb, Genesis: The Movie, and a trilogy on Jesus' parables: The Parables of Grace, The Parables of the Kingdom, and The Parables of Judgment.

One of Capon's primary themes is the radical grace of God.

In the 1990's Capon served as assisting priest at St. Luke's Church in East Hampton, NY, and was Canon Theologian to the Episcopal Bishop of Long Island and Dean of the Mercer School of Theology. He lived with his wife Valerie in Shelter Island, NY.

Capon also had a lifelong interest in food and cooking, and authored several cookbooks. He was a food columnist for Newsday and The New York Times, and taught cooking classes.

Robert Capon died on September 5, 2013 in Greenport, NY.

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Robert Farrar Capon
October 26, 1925 – September 5, 2013