The Rev. Dr. Clair McPherson
Office: Seabury Hall, Fourth Floor
M.Div., General Theological Seminary, 1982
Ph. D., Washington University, 1980; Dissertation, “The Influence of Latin Rhetoric on Old English Literature”
M.A., University of Missouri, 1973
A.B., Washington University, 1972
Clair W. McPherson has taught at a variety of colleges and seminaries, including Union Seminary and General Seminary in New York, where he earned his Master of Divinity, Seabury-Western in Chicago, the University of Missouri, and Washington University in St. Louis, where he earned his Doctorate in medieval literature, with a specialty in Old English. Prof. McPherson’s primary academic specialization remains the medieval period, especially the early Middle Ages, with developing expertise in Patristic Spirituality.. He currently is Professor of Asceital Theology at General. He has been Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Gallatin School and at Fordham College Lincoln Center. His courses at NYU–“The Birth of the World: Classic Creation Stories”; “The Medieval Mind,” “David and Sappho: the Greek and Hebrew Lyrical Traditions”; “the History of Evil”; “Early Medieval Art and Poetry”; “The Evolution of the Edible”; and at General– “Patristic Theology and the Arts,” “Spirituality and the Arts” and “Silence,” were very popular and have been very well-received; he is currently writing a translation of Nilus of Ancyra, the neglected fifth-century Theologian, for St. Vladimir’s Press, and also study of the tradition of the Angels and Devils. He has also made a complete translation of Gregory the Great’s Morals in Job and of the fifth book of Irenaeus’ Contra Haeresias.
In May of 2006, he presented a paper, “Satan in Gregory the Great and the Early Middle Ages” at the annual conference of the Medieval Academy of America in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was extremely well-received and commended by the correspondent from the Sorbonne. In 2008 he delivered a paper on “The Monastic as Paradigmatic” at the Medieval Conference, Plymouth, NH. And in the spring of 2010, he delivered a paper on “Medieval Time” again at the Medieval Forum in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and one on the “Genoels-Eldern Ivories: a Western Icon” at the Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In May 2013, he will deliver a paper on Nilus’ style, spirituality, and theological thought at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University.
He has also been involved in parish work as an educator, administrator, and priest for over three decades, serving parishes in St, Louis. Chicago, and New York. He is also known throughout the academic world and the Episcopal Church as a writer and editor, having written three books—Understanding Faith, Grace at This Time, and Keeping Silence—and served as writer for the Episcopal New Yorker and for the online magazine of Trinity Parish, Wall Street. He has been also a Contributing Editor for the major magazine Spirituality and Health. His various reviews, articles, translations, and original poetry have appeared in journals secular and theological for many years. He has been a popular leader of retreats and quiet days, and spiritual director for individuals, for over thirty years.