Blind, But Now I See

Discipleship and Spirituality in Mark's Gospel

The Reverend Bonnie Thurston, Ph.D. is a pastor, a poet, a retired professor of New Testament, and a leader in the scholarly study of Thomas Merton.

A native of southern West Virginia, Dr. Thurston lives quietly near Wheeling, West Virginia having resigned the William F. Orr Professorship in New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2002. She earned the B.A. in English from Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from the University of Virginia.

The subject of Dr. Thurston’s dissertation was Thomas Merton, the twentieth century Trappist monk, theologian, and poet. Merton’s well-known The Seven Storey Mountain was one of the most influential spiritual writings of the last hundred years. She was a founding member of the International Thomas Merton Society, served as its third president, and received a “Louie” award for service to the Society. She has written many articles on Merton and given retreats and lectured on Merton widely in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Europe. Dr. Thurston is particularly interested in Merton’s poetry and his inter-religious thought. Her work on Merton has been translated into Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish.

In addition to post-doctoral work in New Testament at Harvard Divinity School; Eberhard Karls University in Tuebingen, Germany; and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem, Dr. Thurston has written or edited twenty-one theological books and many articles, has contributed to reference works in New Testament and taught at the university level for 30 years. In the field of New Testament, her scholarly interests include the gospels of Mark and John, the Deutero-Pauline canon and, more generally, the history of Christian Spirituality and prayer.

Her church affiliations include the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and The Episcopal Church, U.S.A. She was ordained in 1984 and has served as co-pastor, pastor, or interim of five churches and twice in overseas ministries. She is an experienced spiritual director and retreat leader. Her poetry frequently appears in religious periodicals, and she has authored six volumes of verse. Bonnie is a widow, an avid walker, reader, gardener and cook, enjoys classical music (especially the opera and liturgical music) and loves the West Virginia hills.

Schedule for the Weekend

Friday, April 20, 2018

5:15pm Welcome Reception at Nativity

6:00pm Was Blind, But Now I See: Discipleship in Mark’s Gospel

In her first lecture, Dr. Bonnie Thurston explores the gradual gaining of sight as Mark’s primary metaphor for the eye-opening call of discipleship, focusing on Mark 8:22-10:52

Saturday, April 21, 2018

9:00am Morning Prayer according to The Book of Common Prayer

9:30am Jesus at Prayer: The Principles of Christian Prayer

In her second lecture, Dr. Thurston brings her background in both Monastic and New Testament Studies to bear on the practice of prayer, beginning with an exploration of Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane

11:00am Applying the Principles to Our Own Lives of Prayer

Dr. Thurston leads a conversation on incorporating the content of the weekend into the participants’ own spiritual practice.

12:00pm Noonday Prayer

Sunday, April 22, 2018

8:00am Holy Eucharist, Rite I with sermon by the Rev. Dr. Bonnie Thurston

10:30am Holy Eucharist, Rite II with sermon by the Rev. Dr. Bonnie Thurston