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Cláudio Carvalhaes to be installed as new worship and preaching professor

by Louisville Seminary | Jan 16, 2008
As part of the 155th Spring Convocation Service at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes will be installed as Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching. The service, which will include Communion, will be held in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel on February 7 at 10 a.m., and the public is invited to attend.

Carvalhaes, who began teaching at Louisville Seminary in August, will deliver the convocation address, “The Liturgical Space as a Territory" (John 4: 1-30), in which he will present an understanding of worship and worship space as intricately connected to the surrounding world.

“The liturgical space is a place where the people of God worship God. In this activity there is not only theological meaning but also social and symbolic connection with the whole world. The liturgical space is marked by references, paradoxes, contradictions, and intense disputes over access and control. In other words, we can consider the liturgical space as territory, marked by social, political, sexual, and economic boundaries, and such an understanding should create in us a heightened sense of global awareness and nervous anticipation in how we worship God,” states Carvalhaes.

As a professor of worship, theologian, and artist with extensive global experience, Carvalhaes has planned a service rich with international texture and meaning and global connection. With the assistance of members of the student body and several of his international colleagues, Carvalhaes will create a liturgical experience that includes dramatic readings and music from South America, East Europe, Africa, Asia, and his home country, Brazil.

Carvalhaes was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where he also earned his degree from the Independent Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was ordained at the independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil and served two different Presbyterian congregations in São Paulo. He studied ecumenism in Switzerland at the World Council of Churches and received his MA in theology and literature from Methodist University's Ecumenical Institute of the Graduate School of Religion in São Paulo.

Supported by an international Presbyterian partnership, Carvalhaes became a founding pastor of Christ Is Life Presbyterian Church, a Portuguese-speaking congregation in Fall River, Mass. After serving the church for several years, Carvalhaes moved to New York City and earned his doctorate at Union Theological Seminary, where he also received the Daniel Day Williams Fellowship for 2006-2007, an award presented to the PhD student with outstanding work in theology, philosophy, ethics, and culture.

A much sought after speaker, writer, and consultant, Carvalhaes has served with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in its peacemaking and immigrant ministries. His published articles, in both English and Portuguese, focus on the theology of Paul Tillich, postmodern theological study in Brazil, art and the Reformed faith, and the relationship between theology and liturgy.

At Louisville Seminary, Carvalhaes teaches Introduction to Worship and Ritual Theory, Performance & Liturgical Practices, which leads students to understand the development of ritual theory and performance studies in relation to liturgical practices. In addition to analyzing various texts, students observe different performances and worship around the city and create a variety of liturgical experiences that are shared in class and in chapel.

In support of the classroom experience and the worship life of the Seminary community, he is creating a worship center and is currently working with Worship and Theology at Presbyterian Church (USA) to host on the Seminary campus a national conference on worship and the arts, July 9-12.

Louisville Seminary is located at 1044 Alta Vista Road. For more information about the Convocation and Installation, contact the Office of Communications at 502.895.3411, ext. 362, or by email at lpts@lpts.edu.

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