Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College will present a luncheon discussion with Bruce Chilton, executive director of the Institute and Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Bard, and Andrew Harvey, renowned author and modern mystic, on Thursday, June 24. The luncheon will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room of Kline Commons, followed by the discussion of comparative mysticism and future plans of the Institute at 1:00 p.m. The charge for the luncheon is $15, or $12 for members of the Institute. Advance registration is requested; please call the Institute office at 845-758-7279 or e-mail

"I am anticipating, with great pleasure, the discussion of comparative mysticism with Andrew Harvey, whom I consider one of the most prominent teachers of this subject in the United States. He combines critical expertise with passionate commitment," says Bruce Chilton, executive director of the Institute of Advanced Theology, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion, and chaplain of Bard College. "Harvey uniquely succeeds in preserving the individuality of different perspectives, while drawing their wisdoms together to explore common spiritual and political agendas. I look forward to having Institute members meet Andrew and also to have them hear our hopes for the future growth of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College."

"Through my conversations with Bruce was born the idea, not only of a graduate program in theology, but also a global interfaith center based at Bard," added Harvey.

Bruce Chilton, chaplain of the College, is a scholar of early Christianity and Judaism and the author of the first critical translation of the Aramaic version of Isaiah (The Isaiah Targum, 1987). He has written academic studies that put Jesus in his Jewish context (Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography, 2000; Pure Kingdom, 1996; The Temple of Jesus, 1992; and The Galilean Rabbi and His Bible, 1984). Doubleday will release his book Rabbi Paul this August. Chilton has taught in Europe at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Münster, and in the United States at Yale University (as the first Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament) and at Bard College. Throughout his career he has been active in the pastoral ministry of the Anglican Church; he is currently rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown, New York.

At the age of 21, Andrew Harvey became the youngest person ever to be named a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He has written and edited more than 30 books, including The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine through the World’s Mystic Traditions; Son of Man; A Journey in Ladakh; Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (coauthored with Sogyal Rinpoche); Mary's Vineyard: Daily Readings, Meditations, and Revelations (photographs by Eryk Hanut); Dialogues with a Modern Mystic; The Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi; Hidden Journey; and his most recent, Sun at Midnight, a memoir. His articles have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Body Mind Spirit, Quest, and other publications. Harvey has taught at Oxford and Cornell Universities and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He was the subject of the 1993 BBC documentary The Making of a Mystic. He continues to study a variety of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity.

The Institute of Advanced Theology was established to foster critical understanding based on scholarship, which aims to make true religious pluralism possible. Since its inception in 1996, the Institute’s work has focused on how religions influence history, society, and other religions, and are in turn influenced by them. The Institute gratefully acknowledges support from members of the Institute, the Crohn Family Trust, and Tisch Family Foundation, as well as grants from The Levy Economics Institute and Bard College. To register for the luncheon, or for further information about the IAT, its programs, or membership, call 845-758-7279, e-mail, or visit the website

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This event was last updated on 05-25-2004