Contact: Roberta Cox, 214-768-2335

March 24, 2004


DALLAS (SMU) —The Louisville Institute, a program of the Religion Division of the Lilly Endowment Inc. and based at Louisville Seminary, will convene a gathering of Anglican biblical scholars and Episcopal clergy to shape a new series of biblical studies books to be published by Morehouse Publishing.

Those attending the meeting will include series editor and AABS member Frederick W. Schmidt (Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University), who said that the book series is an effort by the scholars to be more relevant to pastors and congregations in the Episcopal Church, USA, and throughout the Anglican Communion.

“The Association has been looking for new ways to contribute to the life of the church,” Schmidt said. “This series will provide an important opportunity to accomplish that task. The ‘Conversation Series,’ as it is called, is designed to engage its readers in a dialogue with scripture and meets a significant need that parishes have been facing for some time.”

William F. Brosend II, associate director of the Louisville Institute, said that May’s meeting would help bring scholars and clergy members together to ensure that the AABS would meet its objectives for the series.

“Bringing together the wisdom of pastoral leaders and academic scholars is an important part of the work of the Louisville Institute,” he said. “As a member of the AABS, I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with my colleagues to do what we can to make this series as helpful to the Church as possible.”
Morehouse Publisher Debra Farrington said that two books will be released in the series each year, beginning in 2005. Some will focus on specific books of the Bible, while others will address themes, such as how contemporary Anglicans can read and understand ancient Jewish law.

“Morehouse is very pleased to be able to bring some of the best of contemporary Anglican biblical scholarship to people in the pews. We hope that the books in the series will provide parish study groups and individuals with accessible scholarship that will aid them in their spiritual and intellectual development.”

The Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars is an international group that supports biblical scholarship at all levels of the Anglican Communion. It was founded in 1991. Dr. Ellen Aitken of Harvard Divinity School is the current AABS president.

Launched by the Lilly Endowment in 1990, the Louisville Institute’s mission is “to enrich the religious life of American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the work of the other.”

The Lilly Endowment was created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. The endowment supports the causes of religion, education, and community development. Its religion division supports efforts to revitalize congregations and to sustain excellence in pastoral ministry.

Morehouse Publishing was founded in 1884 and has served the Episcopal and general religious markets with books and church resources since that time. In 2002 it became part of the Continuum International Publishing Group and also serves as Continuum’s worldwide imprint for Anglican-oriented books. Morehouse is located in Harrisburg, Pa.

Perkins School of Theology was founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South, now The United Methodist Church, as one of the original schools of Southern Methodist University. Offering a variety of degree programs, it remains one of the few university-related theological schools in the nation.