Dr. Margaret Barker to deliver 29th Father Alexander Schmemann Lecture in January

Margaret Barker, an independent scholar who has developed an approach to Biblical Studies now known as Temple Theology, will be the presenter at the 29th Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture on Sunday, January 29, 2012, at 4:00 p.m.

The lecture, titled “Our Great High Priest: The Church as the New Temple,” is free and open to the public.  It will be held in the John G. Family Rangos Building on the seminary campus.

Dr. Barker read theology at the University of Cambridge, England, and then went on to pursue her research independently.  She has received wide
recognition for her fascinating scholarship, based on the premise that early Christian theology matured so quickly because it was a return to a
far older faith.  Dr. Barker believes that those who preserved the ancient tradition rejected the second temple and longed for the restoration of the original true temple and the faith of Abraham, and Melchizedek, the first priest-king.  In her writings, she refutes the scholarly assumption that crucial Christian concepts such as the Trinity, the earth as a reflection of heaven, and the cosmic structure of the atonement, are informed by Greek culture.  Rather, she argues, they are drawn from the eclipsed faith of the first temple.  In this vein, Dr. Barker has so far written 15 books, which form a sequence, with later volumes building on her earlier conclusions.

Dr. Barker was elected President of the Society for Old Testament Study in 1998, and edited the Society’s second Monograph Series, published by
Ashgate.  Since 1997, she has been part of the symposium Religion, Science, and the Environment, convened by His All-Holiness Bartholomew
I, the Ecumenical Patriarch.  This work has led her to develop the practical implications of temple theology as the basis for a Christian environment theology.

For a sampling of Dr. Barker’s research, visit her website here.