The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg has received an unusually large donation of works from the library of the late H. Lawrence Bond, emeritus professor of history at Appalachian State University. Bond, who died in 2009, was a founder of the American Cusanus Society and a frequent visitor to the Seminary both for the biennial conferences of the International Seminar on Pre-Reformation Theology and for personal retreats. To continue these connections, Bond’s family chose Gettysburg as the home for his library, estimated at over 5,000 volumes. Most are in the field of medieval history, but many also represent his interest in spirituality, biblical interpretation and pastoral ministry (in addition to his teaching Bond shepherded a small community church).
The A. R. Wentz Library will now have comprehensive holdings in Thomas Merton and C.S. Lewis, as well as medieval theologians such as Meister Eckhart, Bonaventure and Abelard. The crown of the collection, however, is its outstanding collection highlighting the life and work of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), reformer, conciliarist, theologian, writer on mysticism, and cardinal. These volumes will add to the Seminary’s already substantial holdings and help make it one of the outstanding centers for Cusanus studies in North America. The Bond collection will be dedicated during the biennial Gettysburg Conference on October 13, 2012. Learn more about the American Cusanus Society at: www.haverford.edu/library/reference/mschaus/cusanus/cusanus.html
With much effort and research carried out by Drs. Gerald Christianson, Peter Casarella, Tom Ryan and Bond’s daughter, Stephanie White, it was decided that all of Bond’s books would be transferred to the Gettysburg Seminary campus.
On December 2-4, 2011, Dr. Christianson, Dr. Eric Crump and the Rev. Donald Motaka packed, loaded, and moved the books from Larry’s home in Deep Gap, N.Carolina, to Gettysburg. “If you are what you eat,” remarked Motaka, “H. Lawrence Bond was what he read. The myriad shelves and open spaces (Larry had four desks in his library, a converted two and a half car garage) made a living presence of the man, who though I’d never met him, was as real to me that day as anyone I’ve ever known. We found, among his countless CDs, ‘The Greatest Hits of Elvis Sung in Latin.’ In my own hands I held the very diploma from Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennessee that even his daughters had not seen. Then there were the bookmarkers; whole slews of them. Most were cash register receipts from lunch spots or coffee breaks. But among them were poignant revelations, like Larry’s last appointment at the oncology clinic.”
The library staff welcomes the new addition to its collection. “The Wentz Library has had the unique honor of receiving the Bond Collection,” said B. Bohleke, “which gives students and scholars of medieval theology and Christianity access to invaluable publications.”