Noble Lecture

The William Belden Noble Lectures were established in 1898 by Nannie Yulee Noble in memory of her husband. According to the terms of the bequest: “The object of the Founder of the Lectures is to continue the mission of her husband, whose supreme desire was to extend the influence of Jesus as ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life,’ and to illustrate and enforce the words of Jesus — ‘I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.’ The Founder has in view the presentation of the personality of Jesus as given in the New Testament, or unfolded in the history of the Christian Church, or illustrated in the inward experience of His followers, or as the inspiration to Christian Missions for the conversion of the world. The scope of the Lectures is believed to be as wide as the highest interests of humanity.”

Lecture Archive

William Belden Noble Lectures

November 10, 2022
Lecture Title: Considering Hope in a Climate Crisis World.
Lecturer: Norman Wirzba, the Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology and Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute of Ethics at Duke University.
Watch the lecture (Memorial Church YouTube Channel)

October 14, 2022
Lecture Title: How the World Ends.
Lecturer: New York Times bestselling Author John Green, author of "The Fault in Our Stars," "Turtles All the Way Down," and "The Anthropocene Reviewed," among others. He is also widely-known video blogger, podcaster, and philanthropist. The title of his lecture is "How the World Ends."
Watch the lecture (Memorial Church YouTube Channel)

October 16, 2019
Lecture Title: Let My People Go: The Scandal of Mass Incarceration in the Land of the Free.
Lecturer:  The Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the spiritual home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Watch the lecture (Memorial Church YouTube Channel)

April 4, 2016
Lecture Title: The Divine
Lecturer:  Award-winning American author Marilynne Robinson
Watch the lecture: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 (stream)
Listen to the lecture (stream)

April 13, 2015
Lecture Title: Drew Faust Interviews Stanley Nelson
Description: Documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson is interviewed at the 2015 Noble Lecture by Harvard President Drew Faust in the Memorial Church.
Watch the interview (Harvard's YouTube Channel)

April 7, 2014
Lecture Title: "Approaching the Ledge: Why America needs a crisis of faith
— and why, in order to save religion, we must be willing to let it die."
Lecturer: Joshua DuBois, Former Special Assistant to President Obama
and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and
Neighborhood Partnerships and author of The President's Devotional

Watch Joshua DuBois' lecture (Harvard's YouTube Channel)

April 29, 2013
Lecturer: Janet McKenzie, Artist (
Listen to Janet McKenzie's lecture (stream)


Upcoming Noble Lecture