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Author Archives: kellerlibrary

Professor Clark and Bishop Coxe at the Keller Library

Professor Clark humoring the paparazzi in the Julius M. Cruse Rare Book Reading Room.

At the Keller Library, we enjoy hosting visiting researchers (of whom we see many in the summers), and we had a glorious couple of weeks in June hosting the esteemed Elizabeth A. Clark in our Special Collections Reading Room. Dr. Clark is the John Carlisle Kilgo Professor of Religion and Professor of History at Duke University. She is credited with making the “male-centered field of ‘patristics’ into a vibrant field of ‘Christianity in Late Antiquity,’ and she continues to support all young scholars in the field while giving particular attention to women and others who have not traditionally been in the majority” (quoted from this wonderful Duke University profile).

As we have been known to do, we hit up Professor Clark for a few paragraphs on her research for the Keller Library News, and as all those who know Liz Clark can appreciate, she graciously accepted our invitation and provided us with the following. Dr. Clark writes,

Professor Clark makes a discovery in the A. Cleveland Coxe journals.

“In May 2014, the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library of the General Theological Seminary received a gift of archival materials from Richard Mammana; these materials had been collected by Cynthia McFarland, archivist of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey and given to Mr. Mammana* in 2008. The gift, titled “Bishops’ Papers: Rt. Rev. A. Cleveland Coxe, Bishop of Western New York,” includes five boxes of Coxe’s “Journals,” i.e., records of his daily activities from 1864-1896. Ms. McFarland apparently planned to write a biography of Coxe, but the project never materialized.

Arthur Cleveland Coxe graduated from The General Theological Seminary in 1841. As a seminarian, he became a disciple of John Henry Newman, harboring no suspicion that Newman was about to convert. Writing after Newman’s “defection” to Rome in 1845, an enraged Coxe denounced “the Romish system.” Later, as bishop, he publicly declared that he would not ordain to the Episcopal priesthood any candidate with Tractarian sympathies.

As one wing of his attack on Roman Catholicism, Coxe undertook an American edition of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, largely reproducing the Ante-Nicene Christian Library that had been published (1867-1872) by Scotsmen James Donaldson and Alexander Roberts. Coxe found their edition highly un-Episcopalian, even dangerous in its incautious ascription of schismatic or heretical views to various Church Fathers. To Donaldson and Roberts’ volumes, he appended footnotes and “Elucidations” to claim the Church Fathers for Episcopalians, not for Roman Catholics. [Many, many more of Bishop Coxe’s writings may be found over here on Project Canterbury.]

Of particular interest to me in Coxe’s journals are entries for the years (1884-1887) during which he was preparing his edition of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Week by week, Coxe records his labors on the Series in the midst of his busy schedule as bishop. He noted which authors he found particularly interesting (e.g., Clement of Alexandria), but frequently complained about the press schedule, the poor work of the printers, and his own inadequacy for the task. Although his journal entries do not reveal the full extent of his campaign against Roman Catholicism, Coxe comments that if Americans can digest the Fathers, American Christianity will be regenerated, “Sectarianism and Popery” destroyed.

Coxe’s journals add a precious dimension to our knowledge of his life and views from other sources. The Christopher Keller, Jr. Library is fortunate to have Mr. Mammana’s gift of these materials collected by Cynthia McFarland. I am grateful to Mary Robison for alerting me to this recent gift and for assisting me while I was studying the journals.”

Your reference librarian adds that it was a thrill to meet Dr. Clark and have her with us, and we look forward to following her work on this topic!

*Mr. Mammana, founder of Project Canterbury, writes, “This is excellent, and I am so glad that it will give some wider notice to the presence of the papers at GTS.” [We at the Keller Library continue to be grateful for the many treasures we have received from the most benevolent Mr. Mammana!]

International Council of Christians and Jews

A couple of weeks ago, we shared the Ancient Near East Today newsletter, and today we have for you the International Council of Christians and Jews newsletter. This is a newsletter that describes the work of the ICCJ, the “the umbrella organisation of 38 national Jewish-Christian dialogue organizations world-wide.” The ICCJ Newsletter is another greatContinue Reading

Ancient Near East Today

We are so fortunate here at the General Theological Seminary to have such marvelous professors engaged in research–today I think of our beloved Professor Robert Owens, who’s been on sabbatical this spring, finishing an important book and contributing to the editing of another, both under contract for publication with Brill in Leiden and Gorgias Press.Continue Reading

Interning at the Keller Library: GaYoung Kwon’s Experience

Our intern this semester was GaYoung Kwon, a senior from CUNY’s Baruch College. This was a bit of a change for us, because heretofore, we’ve always had library school students as interns, and what a great experience it was, both for her and for us! GaYoung wrote about her internship for one of her papers–theseContinue Reading

The Matriculation Book

Your reference librarian had the opportunity to do some research into the Matriculation Book and ceremony last summer. Here’s some of that information, which sets out the history of the oath and the Matriculation ceremony itself. Original oath. In The Story of General Theological Seminary, Powel Mills Dawley notes that “Students were matriculated at aContinue Reading

Interning at the Keller Library: Megan Izzo’s experience

As my time at the Christoph Keller Jr. Library draws to a close, I am able to reflect on how much I have learned about the field of academic librarianship. The best thing about this internship was the willingness of Library Director Drew Kadel, Technical Services Librarian Patrick Cates and Reference Librarian Mary Robison toContinue Reading

Theological Research from a Distance: Resources for the coming liturgical year

Many of the links below lead to material that requires a Keller Library login.  If you are a General Theological Seminary student, or if you enroll in Theological Research from a Distance, you’ll have access to all these wonderful resources! Christmas lites, Thanksgiving and Lectionary Year A are just around the corner (and in thatContinue Reading

A day in Special Collections, church history class visit

Every student at General Theological Seminary has the opportunity to work with Special Collections materials here at the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library. Our 30,000 volumes, including rare Latin Bibles, early English theology, Anglican history and many, many other rare and precious items, are here to be used and studied, not just kept behind locked doors.Continue Reading

Visiting Researcher: Welcome to Adam McCoy, OHC

We love our out-of-town researchers! This week, we welcome Brother Adam McCoy, of the Order of the Holy Cross, He’s visiting us from Mt. Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara, California and is conducting research into Anglican monasticism here at the Keller Library. Brother McCoy knows our own Library Director, the Rev. Andrew Kadel, from theirContinue Reading