The Fisherman’s Bride: The Untold Story of the Wife of Simon Peter by CATHERINE MAGIA

Porter Square Books welcomes author CATHERINE MAGIA for a reading of The Fisherman’s Bride.  Often times, religious study focuses on the men of Christianity.  In this untold story of the woman behind the First Apostle, we see the journey of the fabled life of the unnamed wife who supports her husband through leaps and bounds.

Cast off by her family after shunning a wealthy suitor to marry a humble fisherman, her life is fraught with hardship. She endures her husband’s growing restlessness, fish shortages from the Sea of Galilee, and the oppression of an all-powerful Roman Empire over her people. Then her life is forever changed when her dying mother is saved by a miracle performed by a young carpenter—a man who speaks with understanding and acts with compassion. A man who can inspire the extraordinary.

This event is not ticketed.


What Light Does “The Gurdjieff Teaching” Shed on Religion? A Conversation

The Gurdjieff teaching is not, and has never presented itself as a religion. It has no creed, no demand for faith in things unseen. It is strictly about what Gurdjieff called work on oneself: a search toward self-knowledge and presence to oneself and the world. But then, it speaks of a living cosmos in which we human beings have the obligation, insofar as possible, to “lighten the sorrows of His Endlessness.” There must be a link, then, between the personal epiphanies of life dedicated to work on oneself and large service. To be explored…

Dr. Lipsey has written extensively on Ananda Coomaraswamy, Thomas Merton, and Václav Havel. His 2013 biography of Dag Hammarskjöld has been extremely well received, and he is often invited to speak at UN meetings worldwide about the Hammarskjöld heritage. Lipsey is a contributor and director of the quarterly magazine Parabola, a member of the board of the Gurdjieff Society of Massachusetts, and a trustee of the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York.


Tell the Tale: The Wisdom of Story

A talk with Roger Lipsey, Ph.D., author of a new biography Gurdjieff Reconsidered: The Life, the Teaching, the Legacy. Joined by special guest The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, author of the foreword.

​“All is story,” Gurdjieff once said to a young man in his circle. “In story you make yourself known to others.”

Story is part of every wisdom tradition, every practice tradition. Guidance and instructions about practice are typically austere: they speak to our possibilities and require understanding and perseverance. Stories are of another nature. They lighten the burden. They are precise entertainments, memories carefully preserved, little revelations. If you listen closely, they reveal the lives and character of teachers and the deep humanity they embodied. And, no less, they reveal the lives of pupils.

G.I. Gurdjieff lived among his pupils for nearly forty years. He taught them with force, precision of word and gesture, and ready humor. As part of his unique approach to teaching, he was a consummate teller of tales — and was himself the subject of innumerable anecdotes. In this talk and exchange, Dr. Lipsey and Rev. Bourgeault will share some of these tales, and also look at teaching tales drawn from other traditions, both ancient and modern.

* * *

Gurdjieff Reconsidered is a discerning look at Gurdjieff’s profound influence on
contemporary Western spirituality. Seventy years after his death, centers dedicated
to his teachings now quietly thrive in cities throughout the world. With new insight
and with great sensitivity, Dr. Lipsey revisits Gurdjieff’s contribution to the essential
ideas of man’s evolution and spiritual potential, a living teaching that continues to
be handed down through practice and story.

There will be an opportunity to discuss the new biography with the author.

* * *

Dr. Lipsey is the author of Hammarskjöld: A Life, recognized as the definitive biography of Dag Hammarskjöld, of two studies of Thomas Merton Make Peace Before the Sun Goes Down: The Long Encounter with Thomas Merton and His Abbott, James Fox and Angelic Mistakes: The Art of Thomas Merton, and many other books and essays. Forthcoming from Shambhala Publications (winter 2020) — Politics and Conscience: Dag Hammarskjöld on the Art of Ethical Leadership.

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, widely read author and retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to further the discovery of the Christian contemplative path. She is the author of numerous books, including The Wisdom Jesus, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Holy Trinity and The Law of Three, and The Heart of Centering Prayer.

All are welcomed.

Refreshments will be served.