James K. A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. The award-winning author of Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom, his most recent books include Imagining the Kingdom (2013), Discipleship in the Present Tense (2013), Who’s Afraid of Relativism? (2014), and How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor (2014). His popular writing has appeared in magazines such as Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and First Things. He is a Senior Fellow of the think tank Cardus and serves as editor of Comment magazine. Jamie and his wife, Deanna, have four children.
Fuller Theological Seminary instituted the Payton Lectures in 1948, providing for a series of divinity lectures by a notable scholar outside the regular faculty. The lectureship is named for Dr. John E. and Mrs. Eliza Payton, parents of the late Mrs. Grace Fuller, wife of seminary founder Charles E. Fuller. Recent Payton Lecturers include Miroslav Volf, Ellen Davis, Bernard McGinn, and Luke Timothy Johnson.