14 November 2016

Dean of leading US seminary
visits Christ Church Cathedral

The Very Revd Steven A Peay of Nashotah House Theological Seminary (right) with Canon Patrick Comerford and the Very Revd Dermot Dunne in Christ Church Cathedral

This half-page news report and photograph is published in the current edition of ‘Friends’ News’, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Vol 34, No 2), p 19, and in the November edition of the ‘Church Review’ (Dublin and Glendalough).

Dean of leading US seminary
visits Christ Church Cathedral

A recent visitor to the cathedral was the Dean and President of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, the Very Revd Steven A Peay, who is also Professor of Homiletics and Church History at the seminary.

Dean Peay is a canon of Christ Church Church Cathedral in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and he his wife Julie who attended Choral Evensong in the cathedral. Dr Peay was staying in Dublin at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.

Nashotah House is an Anglo-Catholic seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin, about 50 km west of Milwaukee, situated within the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee. The seminary was founded in 1842 and received its charter in 1847.

Nashotah House was founded by three young deacons of the Episcopal Church, James Lloyd Breck, William Adams, and John Henry Hobart, Jr, who were all recent graduates of the General Theological Seminary in New York City, at the request of Bishop Jackson Kemper. Gustaf Unonius was the first graduate.

From the beginning, Nashotah House was a centre for Anglo-Catholic theology. James Lloyd Breck, the first dean, was highly committed to the principles of the Oxford Movement. Later, noted professors such as James DeKoven brought Anglo-Catholic worship and traditions to Nashotah House.

Dean Peay’s undergraduate study of Church History led him to the Benedictine monastic life, and he entered at Saint Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania in 1977. He was ordained deacon in 1981 and priest in 1982. After ordination, he returned to Saint Vincent as Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Historical Theology. After leaving monastic life in 1994, he spent 15 years in parish work in Congregational churches in Wisconsin.

Dean Peay came to Nashotah House as adjunct professor of Church History in 2008 and was elected to the faculty in 2010. His orders were received in August 2010 and he is now a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany.

Father Peay’s research has largely focused on the American religious experience, its movements and ecclesial expressions. While his earlier research centred on the history of preaching, Dr Peay has also worked on Puritanism and Congregationalism and at present is researching parallel movements for the recovery of the catholicity of the Church, including Mercersburg and Oxford.

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