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.