A United Methodist pastor with over thirty-six years of pastoral experience, Rev. Wayne Plumstead describes what he has learned about the aesthetics of religion from the philosophy of Aesthetic Realism, founded by Eli Siegel.

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Location: Bloomfield, New Jersey, United States

The Rev. Wayne Jack Plumstead holds a BA from Drake University and an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. Ordained a minister in the United Methodist Church in 1973, he has served since 1991 as Senior Pastor at the Park United Methodist Church in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Prior to that time he served pastorates in Lower Berkshire Valley, Bayonne, Arlington and Jersey City, all in New Jersey. Rev. Plumstead credits the philosophy of Aesthetic Realism, founded by Eli Siegel, with having an invaluable influence on his theological formation. He has given many public seminars at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City. In 1994, the Board of Global Ministries invited him to give a presentation at a consultation on Developing Multicultural Congregations in San Antonio, Texas to assist national church staff in developing strategies for congregations in transitional communities. In 2000, he was invited to give the opening sermon at the first meeting of clergy in the newly formed Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. And, in 2002, the United Methodist Publishing House printed an article he authored in its national magazine for United Methodist clergy, Circuit Rider.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Some Further Recommendations


Having had the opportunity to study in the professional classes she teaches for many years now, I believe the Class Chairman of Aesthetic Realism, Ellen Reiss, to be one of the foremost educators in the world. I respect the extent and reach of her knoweldge very much, as well as the insightful and imaginataive way she is able to make graceful relations between things. Whatever the topic she is discussing and explaining through use of Aesthetic Realism principles, that topic becomes not only comprehensible but is also related in fresh and at times surprising ways to one's everyday life and the most pressing immediate concerns in the world. You can see this for yourself in the Aesthetic Realism commentary of Ellen Reiss on Robert Burns and the important Aesthetic Realism commentary by Ellen Reiss on John Keats.


I recently read the new book by my colleage, Dr. Arnold Perey, titled Gwe. What a moving account this is of one person coming to feel his kinship, the deep relation of sameness and difference, with another. I encourage you to check out Arnold Perey's web site "A New Perspective" and definitely to read his book!


Aesthetic Realism shows that our self-expression is enhanced crucially by our attitude to the world: when we want to have respect rather than contempt. For a wonderful example of this see Miriam Mondlin on the subject of stuttering.


Several thousand articles, letters, and columns about Aesthetic Realism have been published in newspapers and journals throughout the United States and abroad. Read about Aesthetic Realism in the news by clicking here.