Saturday, may 14 at 7 pm
Stories about the journey to paradise, in religious and literary traditions, feature animals as both obstacles and allies. In Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf, Grendel is the “shadow-stalker” the hero must slay to prove himself and attain an earthly paradise; on the medieval pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, there is still an ornate chicken coop housing a pure white cock and hen in the cathedral in one town to commemorate a pilgrim’s miraculous escape from disaster. What beasts block our roads or assist us on the way?
Rev. Craig Townsend presents Shadow-Stalkers and Resurrected Chickens: Animals on the Road to Paradise, an evening of tales, images, and soundscape evoking and exploring the human-animal interactions that illuminate both the journey and its goal.
Craig Townsend is an Episcopal priest serving as Vicar at St. James’ Church on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He has a Ph.D. from Harvard that, while focused on American religious history, also entailed the study of the world’s major religious traditions.