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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


John Peter Kenney, dean of St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, and a former member of the religion faculty at Reed College, will present the annual Eliot lecture on "Ancient Transcendentalism: Platonic and Christian" on Sunday, February 23, at 2 p.m. in the Eliot Hall chapel. Following the lecture, a panel of four scholars will offer brief papers on Platonism and the religions of the West (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The lecture and panel discussion, which are sponsored by the Thomas Lamb Eliot Memorial Fund for Religion, are free and open to the public. For more information visit or call the Reed events hotline at 503/777-7755.

John Peter Kenney is a highly respected member of the religion academy and an authority on St. Augustine, the Hellenistic philosopher Plotinus, and the varieties of mysticism in late antiquity. The author of Mystical Monotheism: A Study in Ancient Platonic Theology (Brown University Press, 1991, paperback edition 2002) and the forthcoming The Mysticism of Saint Augustine: Re-Reading the Confessions, Kenney will offer in his lecture an exploration of different accounts of human and divine transcendence, with special reference to Plotinus and Augustine.

The Thomas Lamb Eliot Memorial Fund for Religion was established in 1953 by Eliot's son, William Greenleaf Eliot, Jr.; this year marks its 50th anniversary. Thomas Lamb Eliot was the head of the founding board of trustees of Reed College, and he served as a trustee from 1911 to 1925. Following in his father's footsteps, Eliot, Jr. was a Reed trustee from 1925 to 1941. The endowment supports religious interests and studies of the students, faculty, and community of Reed College.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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