The Candler School of Theology will host a week of workshops,
lectures, worship and fellowship focusing on spiritual guides, Sept.
“Companions on the Journey: Spiritual Guides Past, Present
and Future” will feature several presentations by leading
theologians—including Candler faculty and alumni—a spotlight
on Taizé worship, and many other activities, some of which
coincide with the University’s Alumni Weekend, which begins
Lectures on the lives and beliefs of several “spiritual guides”
form the core of the conference. Mozella Mitchell, assistant professor
of religions at the University of South Florida, will give the Howard
Thurman Lecture on Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. Thurman, who died in 1981,
was a theologian and philosopher who in 1994 founded San Francisco’s
Fellowship Church. The church is considered by many to be the first
authentically ecumenical, interfaith, multicultural church in the
Later in the evening, at 7 p.m., Victor Kramer, executive director
of Emory’s Aquinas Center of Theology, will deliver the Aquinas
Lecture, titled “Thomas Merton: Compassion, Kairos and Social
Action.” It will focus on the 1960s-era monk’s beliefs
and writings on civil rights.
On Sept. 19, Oxford Dean Dana Greene will speak on “Evelyn
Underhill: A Life and Its Meaning.” Underhill, a 20th century
British religious writer, was a pioneer in the search for ecumenism,
a contemplative life and peace.
“There are people at Emory, both in Candler and in other schools,
who see the
contemplative tradition as a resource for living in the 21st century,”
Greene said. “I am happy to present my work on Evelyn Underhill,
a spiritual guide and proponent of that
Following her address, Greene will take part in a panel discussion—along
with Mitchell, Kramer and others—that will discuss the conference’s
All these events take place in Cannon Chapel.
Other featured activities include community worship, a variety of
workshops ranging from academic discussion to introduction of unique
forms of worship like Taizé and Zen, as well as another installment
of the Whiteside Lecture Series, which will feature Barbara Brown
Taylor (’73C), chair of religion and philosophy at Piedmont
College. A Baylor University publication called her one of the most
effective preachers in the world.
In conjunction with the conference, the Durham Reading Room in Pitts
Theology Library is hosting a pair of exhibitions. “The Sound
of Silence: Thomas Merton as Spiritual Guide” will display
items selected from among the more than 200 that make up Pitts’
Merton collection. They include first editions of most of his works,
as well as several significant studies and criticisms.
“Spiritual Leaders of the Bible” will feature 25 digitized
images of leaders of Israel and the early church taken from 16th-century
woodcuts that also are part of the Pitts collection.
Both exhibitions will be on display Sept. 16–22.
For a full list of activities, visit the “Companions on the
Journey” website at http://
Most events are free and open to the public, and continuing education
credits are applicable.
For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Ministries