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Benedictine Monk, Who Digitizes At-Risk Manuscripts, to Lecture at LSU on March 5

Columba Stewart, O.S.B., who has traveled to many of the world's most dangerous places to build an electronic archive in the face of cultural destruction, will deliver a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Lecture at LSU on Thursday, March 5, at 5 p.m., in the Design Building Auditorium. His talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled "Threat and Response: Saving the World's Manuscript Heritage from Imminent Danger." A reception will follow.
Ernie Ballard | Mon Mar 2, 2020

03/02/2020
BATON ROUGE – Columba Stewart, O.S.B., who has traveled to many of the world’s most dangerous places to build an electronic archive in the face of cultural destruction, will deliver a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Lecture at LSU on Thursday, March 5, at 5 p.m., in the Design Building Auditorium. His talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Threat and Response: Saving the World’s Manuscript Heritage from Imminent Danger.” A reception will follow.

Chosen as last year’s Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities and featured in The Atlantic, NEH’s Humanities and the BBC, Fr. Stewart is executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he is also professor of theology. He received his B.A. at Harvard University, his M.A. from Yale, and his D.Phil. from Oxford, while taking his monastic vows in 1982 and being ordained to the priesthood in 1990. Author of three books, including “Cassian the Monk,” which has been translated into multiple languages, he is an expert on early Christian monasticism, which he describes as “a way of life for the world and not against it.” His work preserving manuscripts has taken him to Syria, Iraq, and Timbuktu, as well as Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and South Asia. He has received fellowships from NEH, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

“We are thrilled that the LSU community will have this unique opportunity to hear and interact with such a mission-driven scholar as Columba Stewart,” said Christina Riquelmy, Rare Book Cataloger at LSU Libraries Special Collections. “His remarkable international work for the preservation of culturally significant manuscript texts that are at risk of destruction is a powerful reminder of the importance the world’s manuscript heritage continues to have in our time. It is also inspiring proof of how today’s digital technologies serve to keep centuries-old manuscripts alive and make them available to new and wider audiences.”

While at LSU, in addition to his public lecture, Fr. Stewart will speak to two classes, HIST 4007 (Early Middle Ages), and HNRS 2030 (Heresy), and will meet with various faculty, graduate students, and librarians.  Co-sponsoring the event with Phi Beta Kappa are the Department of History, the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, LSU Libraries Special Collections, the Ogden Honors College and the Eric Voegelin Institute. 

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program sends distinguished scholars in a variety of academic fields to campuses around the country with the purpose of “contribut[ing] to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.” Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Founded in 1776, its mission is “to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.” LSU’s chapter, installed in 1977, inducts between 30 and 70 upperclassmen each year who are distinguished by the breadth and the excellence of their academic records.

  

 

Contact Janet McDonald
Beta of Louisiana chapter of Phi Beta Kappa
Department of Psychology
225-578-4116
psmcdo@lsu.edu  

or

Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations
225-578-5685
eballa1@lsu.edu