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The Pellett-Wearn Lecture Series Presents

Being Doers of the Word

with Dr. Martha L. Moore-Keish

Sundays at 9:15 am  |  March 6 - April 3, 2022

About Dr. Martha L. Moore-Keish

Dr. Moore-Keish grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, the daughter of a 16th century church historian and a public-school teacher/administrator who worked with hearing impaired students.  In her undergraduate studies at Harvard College, she focused on comparative religions, and following her graduation, she spent a year studying ancient Indian history and culture at Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal, India.  Dr. Moore-Keish then attended Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, where she earned the MDiv degree and met and married her husband Chris.  She earned the Ph.D. in theological studies from Emory University. Following graduation and ordination, she worked as an Associate in the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship, developing liturgical resources and educational events for church leaders. From 2003-04, she served on the faculty of Yale Divinity School and the Institute for Sacred Music as Assistant Professor of Liturgical Studies, before joining the faculty of Columbia Theological Seminary in 2004 to teach systematic theology.  


Dr. Moore-Keish has published books on eucharistic theology and prayer, as well as a theological commentary on the book of James and an edited volume, Karl Barth and Comparative Theology.  She served for several years on official ecumenical dialogues between Reformed and Roman Catholic churches, most recently as Reformed co-chair of the international ecumenical dialogue between the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. In addition to research on liturgical and sacramental theologies, she has a long-standing interest in interreligious issues, particularly Christian-Jewish relations and religions of India.  Martha and Chris have two young adult daughters, Miriam and Fiona, two cats, one dog, and a flock of chickens.

Lecture & Schedule

Martin Luther called James an ‘epistle of straw’ and said that we ought to throw it into the fire. What made Luther so mad about the book of James? And was he right? We will explore what James means by calling us to be “doers of the Word, and not hearers only.”

Come and decide for yourself if you think that James is as worthless as Luther declared, or if he offers a word from God that we still need to hear today.


March 6: James and the call to be “doers of the word”

March 13: James 2: Faith without works = empty words

March 20: James 3: Dangerous words

March 27: James 4: Deceitful words

April 3: James 5: Prayer and the redemption of words

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