UM Publishing House Dedicates Georgia Harkness Library
6/29/2016 10:00:00 AM
Nashville, Tenn.—Staff of The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) gathered on June 10 to dedicate the library in its new headquarters building in the name of theologian and Abingdon Press author Georgia Harkness.
Arguably the first woman scholar-theologian in the United States, Harkness (1891–1974) served on the faculties of Garrett Biblical Institute and Pacific School of Religion. She wrote almost 40 books on theology, ministry of the laity, the spiritual life, and the responsibility of the church to combat war and fight discrimination.
“Georgia Harkness’s contribution to the intellectual and spiritual life of The United Methodist Church is as important now as it was in her lifetime,” said Brian Milford, UMC Book Editor and Incoming President/CEO of UMPH. “She was among the first academic theologians to interpret ministry as the calling of all God’s people—not just of the ordained; and she’s widely acknowledged as the individual who did more than any one person to bring about women’s ordination in The Methodist Church in 1956.”
“Georgia Harkness helped us comprehend the inseparable interplay between theology and ethics,” said Neil Alexander, President of UMPH and Publisher of The United Methodist Church. “She stood tall and firm for social justice in ways that were at once rooted in authentic scriptural holiness and proved to be bold and prophetic for her time. And as a writer, she excelled at translating profound biblical truths into clear and direct language without diluting them.”
The Georgia Harkness Library features a curated collection of current and legacy publications and reference works in a bright glass-walled setting just off the lobby of the new John Dickins House, UMPH’s headquarters located at 2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville.
The dedication ceremony featured a responsive communal prayer written by Georgia Harkness and the singing of two hymns for which she wrote lyrics.