Touchstone senior editor (and Mere Comments contributor) Wilfred McClay will be speaking at the John Jay Institute in Colorado Springs next week. The lecture is part of the Institute’s year-long lecture series entitled Cities of God: A Neo-Traditional Vision for Rebuilding Good Cities and Towns. Dr. McClay will be speaking on Preservation and Anticipation: The Cultural Tasks of a Great City. The lecture is at 7:00 on Thursday, February 14 in the Great Hall of Grace Church and St. Stephens Parish in downtown Colorado Springs. The event is free, but they ask that you RSVP if you would like to attend by emailing Mrs. Maeta Emmons by the 11th.

Here is a synopsis of Dr. McClay’s lecture:

Many American Christians find it hard to connect their profoundest

aspirations with the disorderly realities of modern American cities. It

is not hard to see why this is so. Ambivalence toward cities runs

through the history of the West, and is especially strong in American

history. Add to this the fact that the American church in our time has

become primarily a phenomenon of suburbs and small towns. But if we

take a longer view, we see that Western civilization is ultimately

rooted in the life and heritage of its great cities: Athens, Jerusalem,

Rome, London and Philadelphia. Moreover, it appears that great cities

have a special place in the Biblical design, as proleptic expressions

of our ultimate fellowship in God. Why else would the Book of

Revelation aim at the creation of a New Jerusalem, rather than some

other kind of settlement or habitation? We need, then, to begin to

recover the full range of meanings available to us in the life of our

great cities. In this lecture Dr. Wilfred McClay will offer insight as

to why and how social and religious conservatives ought to care about

cities and the civic and cultural tasks associated with fostering and

developing them.