Scholar on theology and medieval history to lecture at Cornell

MOUNT VERNON — A University of Chicago scholar with expertise in theology and medieval history will lecture at Cornell College on “The Mysticism of the Ground” as the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, in Hedges Conference Room of The Commons. Admission is free.

Bernard McGinn is the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus at Chicago’s Divinity School, where he taught from 1969 to 2003. He has authored books related to the history of Western apocalypticism, including “Visions of the End” and “Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil,” as well as works on Christian spirituality and mysticism. He recently completed the fourth volume of a history of Western Christian mysticism, “The Harvest of Mysticism in Late Medieval Germany 1300-1500.”

During his two-day campus visit, McGinn also will give a presentation in a religion class on Judaism and meet with religion majors and minors plus other students and faculty. This is the 50 th year of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program, which has sent 518 scholars on about 4,500 visits to member campuses since the 1956-57 academic year. The purpose of the program is to allow an exchange of ideas between the visiting scholars and the resident faculty and students, contributing to the intellectual life on campus.

Additional sponsors of McGinn’s visit are the Cornell College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa; the Lecture, Artists, Cultural Events Consortium; the President’s Office; and the religion department. Among more than 3,600 U.S. colleges and universities, Cornell is one of only 270 with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most select honorary society in the United States.