Instructions for Body and Soul

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In October 2011, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pa to deliver the Moses Lectures.  The topic was the Moravian practice of the Speakings, monthly conversations that each member of the church had with the Choir Helper (spiritual leader) of the group or Choir to which he or she belonged.  Ones membership in a choir was determined  by marital status, gender, and age.  In my earlier post I talked about how one reaches the point of being able  to write an authentic memoir.  In the 18th century, the Moravian Church prepared each member of the Church for such self-writing through this system of the Speakings.  The lectures are divided into two parts.  Part One focuses on the history of the Speakings; Part Two focuses on the Instructions (1786) that describe how to conduct the Speakings.  I have transcribed and translated the Instructions and am preparing to publish them in the series “Pietist and Anabaptist Studies” from Pennsylvania State University Press. This work was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The text of these lectures was published in “The Hinge: International Theological Dialog for the Moravian Church,” vol. 18, No. 2: Spring 2012.

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