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Professor Susan R. Garrett to address matter of human desires at fall convocation

by Louisville Seminary | Aug 27, 2007
How do we find our heart’s desire? How do we control the desires that threaten to undo us? And how do we tell the difference between the good desires and the bad ones? New Testament Professor Susan R. Garrett will speak to these questions in her address, “Wanting God and Wanting What We Want: Angels and the Problem of Desire,” which she will present as part of the Opening Convocation of the 155th academic year at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, September 6.

“To speak about the ordering of our desires is to address fundamental questions about the meaning and purpose of life,” says Garrett, author of a forthcoming book on the study of angels in the Bible and modern culture.

In her convocation address, Garrett will examine ancient and modern retellings of the peculiar story in Genesis 6:1-4 of angels who desired human women, and will reflect on what these stories teach us about the ways we order our desires today.

Garrett is a nationally recognized scholar, author, and teacher within the church and the academy. Some of her published works include The Demise of the Devil: Magic and the Demonic in Luke’s Writings (Fortress, 1989), The Temptations of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel (Eerdmans, 1998), and Making Time for God: Daily Devotions for Children and Families to Share (Baker Book House, 2002), which she co-authored with Louisville Seminary Professor Amy Plantinga Pauw. Her forthcoming book No Ordinary Angel: Jesus and the Angels in the Bible and Today will be published by Doubleday in the spring of 2008.

Garrett has been a member of the Louisville Seminary faculty since 1995. She earned her degrees from Duke University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Yale University. Garrett studied in 1980-81 as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tübingen in Germany, and in 1998-99 was the recipient of a Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology.

In addition to pursuing her teaching responsibilities and research interests, Garrett is the coordinator of the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, a $200,000 annual prize given jointly by Louisville Seminary and the University of Louisville for creative ideas that best illuminate the relationship between human beings and the divine.

The 155th Convocation Service will be held at 10 a.m. in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel at Louisville Seminary, and the public is invited to attend.

As initiated several years ago, a rite of matriculation will be incorporated into the service to welcome new degree students to the 2007-08 academic year. New employees will also be recognized.

Of the incoming class expected this fall, 31 are enrolled in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program, 10 in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree program, and four in the Master of Arts in Religion (MA).

Denominationally, the majority of the incoming class is Presbyterian Church (USA); however, Baptist, Christian Church, Episcopal, Pentecostal; Roman Catholic, and United Methodist faith traditions, among several others, are also represented. These men and women come from 19 states from coast to coast, including Texas, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York. Twenty-one students are from Kentucky. This year, the learning experience at Louisville Seminary will be further enriched by a growing diversity among the incoming students, 30% of whom represent racial ethnic minorities and international countries.

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary was founded in 1853, in Danville, Kentucky. Its mission is to serve the church and the world by educating men and women for participation as pastors, chaplains, pastoral counselors, and leaders in the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ. The Seminary is one of ten theological schools of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and offers an inclusive and diverse community, welcoming individuals from wider ecumenical backgrounds.

For more information about this event, contact the Office of Communications at 800.264.1839 or 502.895.3411, ext. 362, or by email at lpts@lpts.edu.

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