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Seminary’s annual Moses Lecture to focus on Moravian Identity

Archivist Dr. Paul Peucker to explain why early Moravians considered history so important

Bethlehem, Pa., October 2, 2008— Moravian archivist Dr. Paul Peucker will present the annual Walter Vivian Moses Lecture in Moravian Studies at Moravian Theological Seminary. His talk, “Beyond Beeswax Candles & Lovefeast Buns: The Role of History in Finding a Moravian Identity,” will be held on Thursday, October 9, at 7 p.m. in the Seminary’s Bahnson Center.

The program is being offered as part of the Moravian Conferences 2008, which will also include the Conference on Moravian History and Culture, the Moravian Historical Society Annual Meeting, and the 8th Annual Moravian Music Conference.  Each event is designed to examine the traditions of the Moravians, also known as Unitas Fratrum or Herrnhuters. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.

History has always played an important role in the Moravian Church; even today, average Moravians are well aware of their history. From early on historical celebrations were held and a culture of “memorialization” existed throughout Moravian communities. Why did Moravians consider history so important? Peucker will argue that Moravians were able to create a common identity by consciously constructing their common history. He will also show how history continues to play an important role in Moravian’s self-perception today.

Peucker is archivist of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. From 1996–2004 he was archivist at the Unity Archives in Herrnhut, Germany. He holds a doctorate in history from the University of Utrecht and a degree in higher archival studies from the State Archives School in The Hague in the Netherlands. He has published various books and articles on the history of the Moravians; he is editor of the Journal of Moravian History. He also teaches Moravian history and archival studies at Moravian College.

For more information on the lectures, including how to register, visit the website at: http://www.moravianseminary.edu/conted/Fall08/Moses.html. For information on the rest of the Moravian Conferences, go to http://home.moravian.edu/public/hist/conference/index.html.