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Event Honoring Gordon Whatley – Nov. 21

On November 21, 2014, starting at 3 p.m., the Ph.D. Program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center will host an event honoring Gordon Whatley on the occasion of his retirement.

At 3 p.m., students and colleagues will speak about Gordon’s work at CUNY, and at 4 p.m., there will be a lecture:

Robert Upchurch, University of North Texas
“An Anglo-Saxon Bishop and his Book: Liturgical Performance as Pastoral Care in the Wake of the Norman Conquest.”

The talk tells a story of Bishop Leofric of Exeter and a book of pastoral materials he used to navigate the regime change of 1066. Both book and bishop weathered the Norman Conquest, and I suggest the former aided the latter in doing so. As spiritual head of a city that found itself in a precarious political position in the wake of William’s victory, Leofric put to practical use a set of episcopal rites for public penance that had been earlier compiled for study. The bishop’s performances of highly-orchestrated, dramatic Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday services helped him to mend the frayed social fabric of his city and to shepherd a motley flock through the aftermath of extraordinarily tumultuous times.

The lecture will be followed by a reception.

The event will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, in room 4406 (English Program).

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