A Tribute to Retiring Faculty

Honoring Retiring Faculty

Two beloved, longtime Candler professors retired from the faculty as the 2020-2021 academic year came to a close. Professor of Historical and Philosophical Theology David S. Pacini and Aquinas Professor of Historical Theology and Charles Howard Candler Professor of Medieval Christianity Philip Lyndon Reynolds served Candler for a combined total of 70 years. Under normal circumstances, they would have been honored at Candler’s faculty and staff end-of-year celebration, with tributes and gifts presented by their colleagues. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these tributes were moved to an online format for a second year—but that shift in no way diminishes the gratitude and celebration that they have each earned over their decades of committed service to their students, the church, and the academy. After you watch these video tributes and enjoy the accompanying photos, we invite you to be part of the celebration and write a message in the guestbook below.

David Pacini

David Pacini: The Best Kind of Tough

“Terrifying.” “Tough.” “Gracious.” “Generous.”

When all these adjectives are used to describe one Candler faculty member, who else could they be referring to but Professor of Historical and Philosophical Theology David S. Pacini?

Pacini, who retires this month, came to Candler in 1980. In the 41 years since, he has cultivated a reputation as the most challenging of professors—with the most gracious of hearts. Read the full story.

A Tribute to David S. Pacini

Presented by Associate Professor in the Practice of Youth Education and Peacebuilding; Director of the Religious Education Program Elizabeth Corrie. Read the transcript.

Watch the tribute on Vimeo.


  • Pacini headshot 1
  • Pacini headshot 2
  • Pacini Headshot 1
  • Pacini in the classroom 1
  • Pacini graduation
  • Pacini in the classroom 2

Philip Reynolds

Philip Lyndon Reynolds: Making Old Things New

For a scholar who has steeped in medieval Christianity and historical theology over four decades, Philip L. Reynolds seems to effortlessly bring a wellspring of newness to his ancient subject matter.

Indeed, he says that the greatest satisfaction of his teaching career has stemmed from working with students on the close reading of medieval texts, which they had typically never encountered before his courses. “This form of pedagogy is scary—in a good way—because it is always unpredictable,” he says. “Before a session begins, I don’t know how it will go or even what we’ll be talking about.” Read the full story.

A Tribute to Philip Lyndon Reynolds

Presented by Professor of Christian Ethics Timothy P. Jackson. Read the transcript.

Watch the tribute on Vimeo


  • Reynolds Installed as the C.H. Candler Professor of Medieval Christianity and Aquinas Professor of Historical Theology
  • 2019 Haskins Medal for "How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments"
  • Reynolds Headshot 1
  • Reynolds Headshot 2

For the past several years, Pitts Theology Library has made a significant rare book acquisition in honor of retiring Candler faculty. This year is no different, as the library has made two major rare book acquisitions to honor Charles Howard Candler Professor of Medieval Christianity and Aquinas Professor of Historical Theology Philip Lyndon Reynolds and Professor of Historical and Philosophical Theology David S. Pacini. 

Reynolds Acquisition-Peter Lombard Sentences.jpgIn honor of Philip Lyndon Reynolds’ remarkable career at Candler and Emory and his steadfast support for Pitts’ instructional mission, the library has acquired a landmark work in medieval theology: a 1487 printing of the fourth book of Peter Lombard’s Sentences. This work has been central to Reynolds’ teaching and writing career, notably in his acclaimed magnum opus How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments (Cambridge, 2016), a book for which he awarded the 2109 Haskins Medal by the Medieval Academy of America.

Pitts is excited to add this volume to its incunabula collection, a term used to refer to books printed in Europe before the year 1501, the “infancy” period of moveable type printing in Europe. These rare works are the focus of ongoing research and exhibitions at Pitts, and this acquisition takes the total number of incunables at Pitts over 110.  

Pacini Acquisition - Hirschvogel Etchings.jpgAll those who have learned from David S. Pacini, including students in his classrooms, attendees at his public lectures, faculty colleagues, and readers of his scholarship, know that visual art has been central to his teaching and research, as a way to bring meaning to challenging theological concepts. Not only has Pacini shaped the minds, careers, and lives of countless Emory and Candler students, but he has been among the strongest supporters (and users!) of Pitts Theology Library, its growing collections, and its instructional mission. He has long advocated for the budgets, the staff, and the rare book collections of Pitts, most notably its Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection.

To honor Pacini for his impact on our community and our library, Pitts has made one of the most significant additions to the Kessler Collection in several years:  a nearly complete set of Augustin Hirschvogel’s etchings from the “Concordantzen alt und news Testament” (Wien Eigidius Adler, 1550). The Hirschvogel Biblical etchings are quite rare, and the new Pitts collection of 92 etchings, 88 from the original folio edition, is now amongst the largest documented collections of Hirschvogel’s works.

For more details on these acquisitions and additional images from the books, as well as a list of rare books acquired in honor of previously retiring faculty, visit the Pitts website.

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