Bishop Joel Marcus Johnson, President of The Oaks of Mamre Interfaith Library and Graduate Center in Easton, will speak at Washington College, Chestertown, Monday, November 21, at 4:30 p.m. in Sophie Kerr Hall of the Miller Library. His lecture is entitled “The Dawn of Conscience,” a reflection on the archaeological discoveries of James Henry Breasted and Ralph Solecki, inferring evidences of compassion in arts and burial rites in both paleo-pre-history and the invention of language and writing, and of how the practices of the ancients have survived through the Age of Empires, to the earliest religions, and to our own time. He describes these origins as “pretty hot stuff.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
Bishop Johnson’s appearance is among the Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by Washington College’s Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture, directed by Joseph Prud’homme, Professor of Political Science. The Institute is dedicated to the rigorous study of religion’s influence on American and world history, as well as its contemporary importance for cultural and political life. Prud’homme also directs a new partnership between Washington College and the University of Oxford.
The Oaks of Mamre, now in the year of the strategic plan, is being developed as a non-resident graduate center located in Easton for the purpose of visiting scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, both national and international, in symposiums and forums, cultural and fine arts programs, which create mutual trust and understanding. It is being developed in conjunction with institutions in Maryland and Washington DC, Washington College among them.
The recently retired Anglican Bishop of The Chesapeake, Johnson’s academic specialty is ancient Near Eastern history and literature. In recent years, he has added pre-historic arts and anthropology and the development of language to his studies. Over the past eight years, he and his teaching partner, Rabbi Peter E. Hyman of Temple B’nai Israel of Easton, have conducted sixteen seminars in ancient history and religious literature.
Washington College, the first college chartered in the newly independent United States, to this day maintains its passionate traditions in humanities, arts and letters and seeks to inspire students with the moral courage and ethical leadership displayed by her founding patron.
For more information, please write to Institute director Professor Joseph Prud’homme at [email protected]