Inside Moravian
e-Newsletter of the Moravian College Campus Community 10/8/14
 
 

College, Seminary Host Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History and Music Oct. 2-5

The fourth Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History and Music was hosted on the campuses of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary Oct. 2-5. Scholars, musicians and Moravian enthusiasts convened in downtown Bethlehem to explore the latest research on a wide range of topics related to Moravian history and music from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries through lectures, concerts, art, food and drinks. The art theme of this year's conference was "War and Peace and the Moravians," which coincides with the College's IN FOCUS theme of 2014-2015.
 
The conference began Oct. 2 with a reception in the Moravian Archives followed by two special panels that focused on "Jon Hughes and his legacy," as well as "Music and Technology."

Other special lectures included the Walter Vivian Moses Lecture in Moravian Studies on Oct. 2 by Jørgen Bøytler from the Moravian Church's Unity Board on the topic of "Unity in diversity, Challenges to the Worldwide Moravian Unity," as well as the 157th annual lecture of Moravian History on Oct. 5 by Katherine Faull from Bucknell University. She discussed the topic of "Visualizing History: the (Hidden) Work of Moravian Women Missionaries in Colonial Pennsylvania."
 
There were two keynote lectures presented during the four-day conference. Sarah Eyerly of Florida State University presented a lecture on "How the Moravians Sang Away the Wilderness" Oct. 3. The following day, Aaron Fogleman of Northern Illinois University discussed the topic of "A Woman, her Husband, and the Moravians in the Eighteenth Century Atlantic World."
 
The featured performances included a concert by Jewel Smith, Tami Morris, Martha Schrempel and Sarah Eyerly about the effect of the Civil War on Moravian young women, Nola Reed Knouse performing,"Storm in the Land: Southern Moravians in the Civil War," and lastly The Lititz Anthems of Johannes Herbst: A Sincere Compositional Voice Revealed in Score, Sound and Expression.

Other events included a historic beer tasting as well as the presentation of the David A. Schattschneider Award of Merit. Please see below for more about the Award of Merit.

Atwood and Meyer smile while holding up the award. A close look at the yellow and red award.

ABOVE: Rev. Dr. Craig D. Atwood (right), director of the Center for Moravian Studies, presented Rev. Dr. Dietrich Meyer with the 2014 David Schattschneider Award of Merit.

ABOVE: The above image is a close-up look at the the 2014 David Schattschneider Award of Merit. Photos courtesy of the Moravian Theological Seminary

Meyer Presented 2014 David Schattschneider Award of Merit

The Center for Moravian Studies at Moravian Theological Seminary presented the 2014 David Schattschneider Award of Merit to the Rev. Dr. Dietrich Meyer of Herrnhut, Germany, on Oct. 4. The Schattschneider Award is given every two years and recognizes a scholar who exemplifies the mission of the Center for Moravian Studies to “promote the study of the history, theology, and mission of the Moravian Church.” It is named for the former dean of Moravian Theological Seminary and first recipient of the award in 2012.

Meyer, this year’s recipient, has been writing and teaching about the Moravian Church for over half a century. From 1976 until his retirement in 2000 he was the director of the Archiv der Evangelischen Kirche im Rheinland (Archive of the Protestant Church in the Rhineland) in Dusseldorf, Germany. In addition to his normal duties of preserving historical church documents, Meyer assisted countless scholars in their research and wrote extensively in the area of modern Protestant history and hymnody.

Often working in collaboration with other scholars, Meyer published several works, including a bibliographic handbook for Zinzendorf research, to assist others in their investigations. Virtually everyone who has done serious research on German Protestantism, especially Moravianism, in the 18th century has benefitted from Meyer’s meticulous archival and bibliographic work. Craig Atwood, the Director of the Center, recalls: “when I first started my graduate research on the Moravians I discovered some of the work of Dietrich Meyer in the library at Princeton. No one in the world has the breadth and depth of knowledge on Zinzendorf and the Moravians that he has.”

Beginning with his 1963 dissertation on the theology of the Moravian leader Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, Meyer produced a significant number of academic books and articles on Moravian history and theology. In 2000 he published a history of the Moravian Church that has become the standard German-language history of that religious group. In his writings and teaching Meyer emphasizes those aspects of Zinzendorf’s theology that still have meaning for people in the modern age.

After his retirement, Meyer moved to the Moravian village of Herrnhut where the church’s archive is stored. Even in retirement Meyer has continued “to promote the study of the history, theology, and mission of the Moravian Church.” Last year he taught courses in Moravian history and theology in Tanzania, the country with the largest number of Moravian adherents in the world today.

The award was presented at the closing banquet of the Bi-annual Bethlehem Conference on Moravian Music and History co-sponsored by Moravian College and Theological Seminary, the Moravian Archives of Bethlehem, the Center for Moravian Studies, the Moravian Music Foundation, Historic Bethlehem Museum and Sites, and the Moravian Historical Society.

< Back to main page