Elaine Pagels to give talk at St. James, Madison Avenue on May 6

Elaine Pagels, the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, will speak at St. James’ Church at 6:30pm on Monday, May 6. The church is located at the corner of Madison Ave. and 71stSt., and the talk is FREE.

Pagels, the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, is best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels, and is most recently the author of Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation (Viking, 2012), which was favorably reviewed in the New York Times Book Review and the New Yorker. She will offer Art, Music, and Politics in the Book of Revelation, a multimedia presentation on the use of language and imagery from the Book of Revelation in times of war and conflict.

Black History Month Celebration at The Episcopal Church Center

The Episcopal Church Center celebrates Black History Month. This year's theme is "Emancipation and the New Jim Crow". On Wednesdays February 6th, 20th & 27th black clergy will officiate at the daily Eucharist service at 12:10 pm at the Church Center, 815 2nd Ave. Lectures will follow. An RSVP is necessary since lunch will be served. Details on presenters and topics, as well as how to RSVP, can be found here.

Thursday event: "Not for Solace Only . . ."

On Thursday, 12 April, Fr. Andrew Wright, an M.Div. graduate of General and a current Th.D. student, will defend his dissertation, “Not for Solace Only: Real Presence and Eucharistic Intimacy.” Doctoral students are invited to the defense in the 21st Street Room at 1:30pm. At 3:30pm, Fr. Wright, then Dr. Wright, will make a presentation of his work to the entire GTS community in the combined 21st Street / Close Room.  He will demonstrate how modern theologians, in response to the possible failure of classical approaches to speak to modern ears, are searching for contemporary language to express the Church’s experience of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Fr. Wright has focused on the concept of “intimacy” as a way to defend both the objective reality and the inter-subjectivity of the Eucharistic presence.

Immediately following the presentation, a reception will be held in Fr. Malloy’s apartment.  All who come to the dissertation presentation are invited to celebrate with Dr. Wright, his friends, and the faculty.


John Philip Newell to Offer Kay Butler Gill Lecture


On Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at 8:00 pm, John Philip Newell will speak on A New Harmony: The Spirit, the Earth, and the Human Soul, the 2012 Kay Butler Gill Lecture in Christian Spirituality. A scholar, peacemaker, and poet, John Philip Newell is an internationally acclaimed teacher of Celtic spirituality and a passionate seeker of peace among the great spiritual traditions. Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he is now widely sought as a speaker and spiritual guide. His many books include Listening for the Heartbeat of God, Praying with the Earth, and A New Harmony. For details about the lecture and to reserve tickets, click here.

Prof. Clair McPherson Teaches about Angels and Demons


General Seminary's new Professor of Ascetical Theology, Clair McPherson, has been on the road teaching about angels and demons, his current research interest. Most recently, he has presented on the topic at Fordham University and offered a series of lectures entitled Medieval Visions: Angels & Demons in Word, Art & Icon for Gladdening Light, in Winter Park, Florida, an institution exploring the nexus of faith and art. In a forthcoming book, Prof. McPherson will trace the development of the tradition of angels and demons as it developed from scattered sources in diverse places over many centuries. "Most people read the word angel in the Bible and envision a winged, lovely, and sweetly benevolent being. This is always wrong," notes Prof. McPherson. "No angels in Scripture have wings, and few are lovely when they do appear. Some are benevolent, some aren't, and not one is sweet." For example, the cherub in the Old Testament is a fearsome-looking guardian spirit and is never called an angel anywhere in Scripture. That identification did not happen until the second or third century CE, with the Christian apocryphal gospels. Similarly, the powers, thrones and dominions in the letters of Paul are not angels until Origen calls them such. By the sixth century, Pseudo-Dionysius can give the full nine-ranked, organized angelic hierarchy, McPherson adds, a tradition of angels gradually to be weakened and trivialized in the modern era.