When Bishop Joel Johnson retired as the leader of the Anglican Diocese of The Chesapeake last year, there were a number of projects that he listed as top priorities for his “golden years.” Many fell into the category of continuing his social activism in the community, including his involvement with Talbot Association of Clergy and Laity and more recently helping to facilitate a series of community discussion groups on the topic of race.
But one project, which seemed at first more like a housekeeping task, was figuring out what to do with the Bishop’s 6,000 volume personal library on theology and religion. With most of the books in storage, there was frustration on his part that these extremely rare editions focused on spirituality were not being used by the scholars that needed them.
In his Spy interview, the Bishop talks about the extraordinary circumstances that has led him to his recent decision to use that collection as the foundation of a new interfaith theological library and graduate center to be based in Easton. The new academic center is to be named The Oaks of Mamre, a biblical reference to the location where Abraham had entertained the three angels some 5,000 years ago.
For more information about The Oaks of Mamre Project or contact Bishop Johnson please call at 410-819-0731.