CLGS fall lecture series to honor Georgia Harkness

September 24, 2010

GHarknessCLGS is pleased to inaugurate a new named lecture series beginning this November: The Georgia Harkness Lecture.

Georgia Harkness (1891-1974) was a pioneering theologian in the Methodist tradition, a leading figure in the ecumenical movement, and the first woman hired to teach theology at a Christian seminary. Harkness focused her teaching and writing (more than 30 books and many articles) on the practical application of theology to the pressing social issues of her day, ranging from women’s rights to racism, war and peace, international relations, and, later in her life, and full civil rights for gay and lesbian people.

Harkness retired from teaching after serving on the faculty at Pacific School of Religion from 1949 to 1960.

The passion Harkness brought to her work of making vital theological connections among wider cultural and political issues, her keen interest in employing poetry and the arts to her theological work, and her firm commitment to civil rights and social justice -- all of this resonates deeply with the work of PSR’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry.

CLGS is also delighted that the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, president of Starr King School for the Ministry at the GTU, will offer the inaugural Georgia Harkness Lecture, entitled "The Astonishing Fire at the Heart of Things," on Tuesday evening, November 16, 2010. Dr. Parker’s pioneering work in feminist theologies and social justice activism honors the legacy of Harkness’ prophetic life and ministry, and continues PSR’s tradition of boldness in Christian witness and theological education.