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October 21, 2002

Celebrate Reformation Day, Oct. 22

By Beverly Clark

Emory’s 15th annual Reformation Day will feature a performance of religious works by classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as a lecture on the history of clerical celibacy and its role in spurring the Protestant Reformation. The daylong series of events is scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Cannon Chapel.

The Kessler Reformation Concert, under the theme “Bach the Lutheran Composer,” will explore aspects of Bach’s musical theology, featuring an organ performance and commentary by Timothy Albrecht, Emory organist and music professor. The concert also features an ensemble of musicians performing the aria “Gott hat Alles wohl gemacht.” Albrecht will give a preview at 7:45 p.m., followed by the concert itself at 8:15 p.m.

John Witte, Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law, will explore “The Perils of Celibacy: Clerical Marriage and the Protestant Reformation,” in a 2:30 p.m. lecture. Director of both the Law and Religion Program and the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion, Witte will discuss how clerical celibacy has long been subject to controversy and was a major component of the Protestant Reformation; many reformers, according to Witte, regarded mandatory celibacy as a fundamental misreading of Biblical texts and a rejection of God’s gift of marriage. A response will be given by Steven Tipton, professor of sociology of religion in the Candler School of Theology and director of the Graduate Division of Religion.

Reformation Day kicks off with “Johann Sebastian Bach as Luther-inspired Lutheran,” a lecture and organ recital by Albrecht at 9 a.m., followed by a worship service at 11 a.m. by the Rev. Robert Sims, pastor of Atlanta’s Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Pitts Theology Library staff will offer an illustrated lecture on “Images of Faith: Religion and Art in the Sixteenth Century” at noon in Room 106 of Cannon Chapel. Call 404-727-6352 to reserve a free lunch.

Emory’s yearly Reformation Day celebration highlights Candler’s Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, an archive of rare and valuable documents produced in connection with the Reformation, including more than 2,600 pieces written by Martin Luther.

For more information on Reformation Day events, call 404-727-6352.