Diocese of Toronto | Anglican Church of Canada

Voices of Advent: Devotion, Repentance, and Prophetic Zeal

In this advent series with Dr. Marion Taylor (Wycliffe College), we will focus on three nineteenth-century Anglicans whose writings about the advent themes of devotion, repentance, and social justice will help us prepare to celebrate Jesus birth and second coming.

6:00pm Worship (St. James Cathedral, 106 King St. East)
6:30pm Light Supper (Cathedral Centre, 65 Church St.)
7:00pm Lecture (Cathedral Centre, 65 Church St.)

Wednesday, December 4 – Devotion: Anglican Hymn Writers and Devotional Writers: Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Rundle Charles

Christina Rossetti was one of Victorian England’s finest poets. She also authored devotional works and commentaries on Scripture. We will look at some of her hymns and devotional writings. In reflecting on the annunciation, Rossetti (1830-94) described Mary as “blessed among women, blessed in believing the sure word of promise . . . blessed in hearing the word of God and keeping it, and called blessed by all generations.”

Elizabeth Rundle Charles was an influential and prolific Victorian author of Christian poetry, historical fiction, devotional commentaries, and collections of hymns, a number of which she translated from Latin. The season of Advent brought Charles great joy and she particularly loved St. Ambrose’s fourth-century advent hymn, “Veni, Redemptor gentium.”

Wednesday, December 11 – Repentance and Suffering: Josephine Butler

Josephine Butler’s social activism brought her face to face with suffering. Bringing the burdens of others before God, she prayed that Christ would come quickly and deliver forever our, groaning world.

Butler is less well-known for her work as a biblical interpreter. Her interpretation of the story of the Levite’s concubine in Judges 19 is timeless and inspiring.

Wednesday, December 18 – Prophetic Zeal: Hannah More

Hannah More is remembered as an educator, writer, and social  justice reformer. She was friends with William Wilberforce and helped give the antislavery movement a public voice. More’s poem about a mistreated slave separated from her children raised the question of Britain’s role in the Slave Trade.

About Marion Taylor, PhD

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Marion Taylor grew up in Toronto and began her academic studies at the University of Toronto. Questions about how to negotiate the worlds of faith and the academic study of the Bible pushed her to pursue an MA in Near Eastern Studies and a Master of Divinity degree. Ultimately her journey took her to Yale University, where her interest in the history of the interpretation of the Bible was solidified. Under the direction of Brevard Childs, she wrote her doctoral thesis on the history of Old Testament studies as they developed at Princeton Seminary from 1812 to 1929.

Marion began her search for forgotten women interpreters of the Bible in 2002, when a student asked if she could write a paper on a woman interpreter from the 19th century. This question has taken Marion on the greatest adventure of her life, as she and a team of students and scholars have unearthed the names and writings of hundreds of women throughout history. In 2006 she and Heather Weir co-published a collection of texts from 50 forgotten women interpreters, focusing on the stories of women in Genesis:  Let her Speak for Herself: Nineteenth-century Women Writing on Women in Genesis. Marion and Christiana de Groot of Calvin College co-edited Recovering Nineteenth-Century Women Interpreters, a volume of essays published in the SBL’s symposium series. Marion’s award-winning book, Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters: a historical and biographical guide (Baker, 2012), provides an exciting new resource for those interested in the history of the reception of biblical texts and theology.  Women of War, Women of Woe, a collection of 19th-century women’s writings on the women in Joshua and Judges, co-authored with Christiana de Groot, was published in 2016; and in November 2016, Women in the Story of Jesus: The Gospels through the Eyes of Nineteenth-Century Female Biblical Interpreters, a collection of 10th-century women’s writings on the women in the gospels which Marion co-authored with Heather Weir, was published by Eerdmans.

Marion has recently completed a commentary on Ruth and Esther, to be published in Zondervan’s Story of God Series. She has received several research grants to support her projects. In her spare time, Marion loves to read, write, and walk her dog at the cottage in northern Ontario.

The Cathedral Church of St James

106 King Street East, Toronto ON M5C 2E9 | Office & Mailing Address: 65 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2E9
(416)364-7865 | info@stjamescathedral.ca

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