Beauty, Embodiment, and Stewardship: Theological Libraries and Theological Ecology

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David Edward Schmersal
David Kriegh
Sandy Shapoval
Alex Strohschein


Many faith traditions affirm a profound connection between physicality and spirituality. Similarly, libraries, even while facilitating sublime intellectual connections between authors and readers, have done so, and to an extent continue to do so, as physical places and through the physical medium of books. Given these connections, it is perhaps not surprising that theological libraries can serve as a nexus for exploring the relationship between the physical and the spiritual, between the largely incorporeal acts of intellectual analysis and spiritual contemplation and the physical ecology in which such acts occur and the physical (and digital) media that make them possible. As we have become increasingly aware of the fragility of our physical environment, such connections have taken on greater significance, both as a topic for intellectual analysis and a guide for faithful praxis. This paper offers further consideration of these themes and explores ways in which theological libraries, our collections and services, can both model and further good stewardship. 

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Author Biographies

David Kriegh, St. Patrick's Seminary & University

Library Director, St. Patrick's Seminary & University

Sandy Shapoval, Phillips Seminary

Dean of the Library and Research Services, Phillips Seminary

Alex Strohschein, John Richard Allison Library, Regent College

Circulation Coordinator, John Richard Allison Library, Regent College