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Erskine Clarke Named Professor Emeritus


Decatur, GA. – Erskine Clarke, professor of American religious history at Columbia Theological Seminary, has been named professor emeritus, effective with his retirement from the faculty this summer. An internationally acclaimed historian, author, lecturer, and consultant, he joined the seminary faculty in 1973. Clarke’s scholarly interest has focused on religion and slavery in the American South. His many books and publications include: Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic (2005); Exilic Preaching: Testimony of Christian Exiles in an Increasingly Hostile Culture, editor (1998); Our Southern Zion: A History of Calvinism in the South Carolina Low Country, 1690-1990 (1996); and Wrestlin’ Jacob: A Portrait of Religion in the Old South (1979). Dwelling Place, published by Yale University Press, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and received the prestigious Bancroft Prize given by Columbia University, New York City, for a work “of exceptional merit” in American history. It also received the Bell Prize from the Georgia Historical Society for the best book on Georgia history and a Mary Lawton Hodges Prize in South Studies from the University of South Carolina. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Clarke was a pastor in Belton, South Carolina, before coming to Columbia in 1973. He was Director of Columbia’s international program for twenty five years while serving as a professor of American Religious History. For the past two years, he has been a key figure in the establishment of Columbia Seminary’s program in Presbyterian and Reformed History and Theology. He was a visiting fellow, Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge, and was elected a life member of Clare Hall. Following his retirement, Clarke and his wife, the former Nancy Legare Warren, will move to Montreat, NC. He will continue writing and lecturing on slavery and religion in the American South. Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, Georgia, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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