Surprised by Suffering: Life After Perfect

A Public Forum with Kate Bowler

What do you do when life sends you a curveball and you find yourself in a life that looks little like the one you dreamed of and planned for? Suffering comes in all shapes and sizes. It could be the death of a loved one, financial hardship or a devastating diagnosis. Or perhaps it is a deep disappointment, unmet expectations, loneliness or an unfulfilling career.

Please join us for a public forum with New York Times bestselling author, Duke University professor and incurable optimist Kate Bowler. She will illustrate her take on the theme of courage and belonging through her personal story of suffering as she grappled with her cancer diagnosis, her ambition and her faith while trying to come to terms with limitations in a culture that promises anything is possible.

Whether you are experiencing a difficult time or walking alongside someone who is, come learn from and be encouraged by Kate’s wisdom and see what is possible. A Q&A with Dr. Josh Chatraw, the Center’s executive director, will follow Kate’s talk.

This forum is a part of the Center for Public Christianity’s 2022-2023 series, Flourishing in a Broken World.

Date and Time

Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at 7:00-8:30pm


Holy Trinity Anglican Church
100 E. Peace Street
Raleigh, NC 27604

UPDATE: The response to this event has been tremendous, and tickets are now sold out. We apologize for this inconvenience.

About Our Speaker and Host

About Kate Bowler, Ph.D.

Kate Bowler, Ph.D. is a three-time New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and an Associate Professor of American Religious History at Duke University. She studies the cultural stories we tell ourselves about success, suffering, and whether (or not) we’re capable of change. She is the author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel and The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities. After being unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at age 35, she penned the New York Times bestselling memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved), No Cure For Being Human (and Other Truths I Need to Hear) and her latest written with her co-producer, Jessica Richie, Good Enough: 40ish devotionals for a Life of Imperfection. Kate hosts the Everything Happens podcast where, in warm, insightful, often funny conversations, she talks with people like Malcolm Gladwell and Anne Lamott about what they’ve learned in difficult times. She lives in Durham, North Carolina with her family and continues to teach do-gooders at Duke Divinity School.

About Joshua D. Chatraw, Ph.D.

Josh is executive director of the Center for Public Christianity, lead teacher for New City Fellows, and theologian-in-residence at Holy Trinity Anglican Church – all based in Raleigh, NC. His writing and speaking focuses on public theology, apologetics, and culture. He has written and edited several books including, Apologetics at the Cross, Cultural Engagement, The History of Apologetics, Telling a Better Story, Truth Matters, and Truth in a Culture of Doubt. His writing has received numerous awards, including Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year in Apologetics and The Gospel Coalition’s Book of the Year in Apologetics/Evangelism, and his work has been featured in outlets such as Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, World Magazine, and the Washington Post. He earned his PhD in Biblical Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Masters of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelors in Business from Georgia Southern University. Josh has served in a full-time academic teaching post, as well as pastorates at churches in Virginia and Georgia. Josh and his wife, Tracy, have two children, Addison and Hudson.