2008 Montreat History Lectures
Religion in Appalachia
Among this year’s distinguished lecturers were Cherokee elder and stonecarver Freeman Owl, novelist and Episcopal priest Denise Giardina, and shape-note singer and teacher, Jane Spencer.
Speaking on Cherokee religion from his perspective as a member of that Indian nation, Owl’s message was one of forgiveness and reconciliation for oppressed and oppressor. “We are all one,” he said.
Giardina spoke on the devastating effects of the coal industry’s practice of mountain top removal. She noted that while the process is illegal, government regulatory agencies at all levels have allowed coal companies to continue. According to Giardina, irreversible damage has been done to the environment and thousands of people have been displaced.
Jane Spencer, along with several accomplished singers, gave a demonstration (shape-note singers do not “perform”) to a large group of enthusiastic participants. The Montreat lecture series is part of Columbia’s program in Presbyterian and Reformed History and Theology and is offered through the seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning.
Columbia Theological Seminary Lecture Series
July 20–24, 2009
From the 19th century into the 21st,
missional challenges have been embraced in the Presbyterian family both nationally and internationally. Designed to help us learn from the past and cast a new vision for the future, these presentations will address ways in which Presbyterian and Reformed traditions have engaged and are engaging mission in
North America and other areas of the world.
Co-sponsored by Montreat Conference Center, Presbyterian Heritage Center at Montreat, and Montreat Adult Summer Club