Blake Lectures

‌The lecture honors William E. and Miriam S. Blake and is presented annually by a renowned scholar. The series' objective is to broaden the audience's understanding of Christianity by making it relatable.

The lecture is supported by an endowed fund established by family, friends, colleagues, and those who enjoyed the History of Christianity course which Professor Blake initiated at VCU. 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of this lecture series.

On February 27, 2019 the History Department welcomed Roy Robson from Penn State. His lecture was titled, "The Art of Pimen Sofronov: Ancient Iconography is a Completely New Thing." In 1947, Pimen Sofronov emigrated to the USA where a Russian bishop told him that "ancient iconography is a completely new thing." Over the next three decades, Sofronov painted a dozen churches and trained a generation of iconographers - inspiring modern art through traditional techniques and styles. Professor Robson masterfully detailed Sofronov's influence in iconography throughout Europe and the U.S.

The 2020 speaker will be Sylvester A. Johnson from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. The founding director of the Virginia Tech Center for Humanities, Professor Johnson is a nationally recognized humanities scholar specializing in the study of race, religion, and technology. Save the date of April 2, 2020 and stay tuned for more information.

For more information about the Blake Lecture, please contact Professor Andrew Crislip ( or 804-828-0155), the History Department's Blake Chair in the History of Christianity.

Click here for information about past Blake Lectures.

Bill and Miriam Blake

Blake photo