Kirk Smith ’79 is Berkeley’s bishop-in-residence for the spring term 2021, succeeding Steven Charleston, who has been worked with Berkeley students during Fall 2020. “In residence” is a bit of a misnomer in the sense that Smith visits each week via Zoom from his home in Sedona, Arizona, but the sense of homecoming is still pretty strong for the Berkeley Class of ’79 graduate. “I look forward to returning to a place I love, teaching people I love, about a subject I love,” Smith observes. In this case, the subject is the medieval church.
The nation is in shock. Tyranny, corruption, and violence stalk the halls where justice and wisdom had seemed to be at home. The highest virtues are cast aside in a scramble for power. The memories of past leaders, flawed but decent, seem more and more appealing.